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OSMANJA UNIYERSITY LIBRARY 

lollo 

Call No. 161TT _ . Accession No, r ' v " 

Author 

This book should be returned on or before the date last marked below. 




The Trail of the Hawk 



Novels by Sinclair Lcwlt 

Our Mr. Wrenn 

The Trail of the Hawk 

The Job 

Free Air 

Main Street 

Babbitt 



The Trail of the Hawk 

A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life 
Sinclair Lewis 




Jonathan Cape 

Eleven Gower Street, London 



Ftrst published tn 1923 
All rtgbts reserved 



Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Promt and London. 



TO THE OPTIMISTIC REBELS THROUGH 
WHOSE TALK AT LUNCHEON THE AUTHOR 
WATCHES THE MANY-COLOURED SPECTACLE 
OF LIFE GEORGE SOULE, HARRISON 
SMITH, ALLAN UPDEGRAFF, F. K. NOYES, 
ALFRED HARCOURT, B. W. HUEBSCH. 



The Trail of the Hawk is Mr. Sinclair Lewis' second book, 
and was originally published in America by Harper and 
Brothers in 1915, a year after Our Mr. Wrenn. The Job 
was first published in 1916 and Free Air three years later 
by Harcourt Brace & Company of New York. 

All the foregoing are now to appear in Great Britain 
in the order of their writing. 

Main Street was first published in England by Hodder 
& Stoughton m 1921. Babbitt was published simul- 
taneously in England and America in 1922. 

The Trail of the Hawk has been corrected in some small 
details, but no revision or re-writing has been attempted 
by the author, who wishes it to be made clear that it is 
an early and not a new work. 

Mr. Lewis' new novel will not be ready for publication 
until the Autumn of 1924. 



PART I 
The Adventure of Youth 



CHAPTER I 

CARL ERICSON was being naughty. Probably no 
boy in Joralemon was being naughtier that October 
Saturday afternoon. He had not half finished the wood- 
piling which was his punishment for having chased the 
family rooster thirteen times squawking around the 
chicken-yard, while playing soldiers with Bennie Rusk. 

He stood in the middle of the musty woodshed, pessi- 
mistically kicking at the scattered wood. His face was 
stern, as became a man of eight who was a soldier of 
fortune famed from the front gate to the chicken-yard. 
An unromantic film of dirt hid the fact that his Scan- 
dinavian cheeks were like cream-coloured silk stained 
with rose petals. A baby Norseman, with only an average 
boy's prettiness, yet with the whiteness and slenderness 
of a girl's little finger. A back-yard boy, in baggy jacket 
and trousers, gingham blouse, and cap whose lining oozed 
back over his ash-blond hair, which was tangled now like 
trampled grass, with a tiny chip riding grotesquely on 
one flossy lock. 

The darkness of the shed displeased Carl. The whole 
basic conception of work bored him. The sticks of wood 
were personal enemies to which he gave insulting names. 
He had always admired the hard bark and metallic reso- 
nance of the ironwood, but he hated the poplar " pop- 
ple " it is called in Joralemon, Minnesota. Poplar becomes 
dry and dusty, and the bark turns to a monstrously 
mottled and evil greenish-white. Carl announced to 
one poplar stick, " I could lick you ! I'm a gen'ral, 
I am." The stick made no reply whatever, and he con- 
temptuously shied it out into the chickweed which matted 
the grubby back yard. This necessitated his sneaking 

9 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

out and capturing it by stalking it from the rear, lest 
it rouse the Popple Army. 

He loitered outside the shed, sniffing at the smoke 
from burning leaves the scent of autumn and migration 
and wanderlust. He glanced down between houses to 
the reedy shore of Joralemon Lake. The surface of the 
water was smooth, and tinted like a bluebell, save for 
one patch in the current where wavelets leaped with 
October madness in sparkles of diamond fire. Across 
the lake, woods sprinkled with gold dust and paprika 
broke the sweep of sparse yellow stubble, and a red barn 
was softly brilliant in the caressing sunlight and lively 
air of the Minnesota prairie. Over there was the field 
of valour, where grown-up men with shiny shot-guns 
went hunting prairie-chickens ; the Great World, leading 
clear to the Red River Valley and Canada. 

Three mallard-ducks, with necks far out and wings 
beating hurriedly, shot over Carl's head. From far 
off a gun-shot floated echoing through forest hollows ; 
in the waiting stillness sounded a rooster's crow, distant, 
magical. 

" I want to go hunting ! " mourned Carl, as he trailed 
back into the woodshed. It seemed darker than ever 
and smelled of mouldy chips. He bounced like an enraged 
chipmunk. His phlegmatic china-blue eyes filmed with 
tears. " Won't pile no more wood ! " he declared. 

Naughty he undoubtedly was. But since he knew 
that his father, Oscar Ericson, the carpenter, all knuckles 
and patched overalls and bad temper, would probably 
whip him for rebellion, he may have acquired merit. 
He did not even look toward the house to see whether 
his mother was watching him his farm-bred, worried, 
kindly, small, flat-chested, pinch-nosed, bleached, twangy- 
voiced, plucky Norwegian mother. He marched to the 
workshop and brought a collection of miscellaneous 
nails and screws out to a bare patch of earth in front 
of the chicken-yard. They were the Nail People, the 
most reckless band of mercenaries the world has ever 
known, led by old General Door-Hinge, who was some- 

10 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

what inclined to collapse in the middle, but possessed 
of the unusual virtue of eyes in both ends of him. He 
had explored the deepest canons of the woodshed, and 
victoriously led his tenpenny warriors against the sumacs 
in the empty space beyond Irving Lamb's house. 

Carl marshalled the Nail People, sticking them upright 
in the ground. After reasoning sternly with an intrud- 
ing sparrow, thus did the dauntless General Door-Hinge 
address them : 

" Men, there's a nawful big army against us, but le's 
die like men, my men. Forwards ! " 

As the veteran finished, a devastating fire of stones 
enfiladed the company, and one by one they fell, save 
for the commander himself, who bowed his grizzled, 
wrought-steel head and sobbed, " The brave boys done 
their duty." 

From across the lake rolled another gun-shot. 

Carl dug his grimy fingers into the earth. " Jiminy ! 
I wisht I was out hunting. Why can't I never go ? I 
guess I'll pile the wood, but I'm gonna go seek-my-fortune 
after that." 

Since Carl Ericson (some day to be known as " Hawk " 
Ericson) was the divinely restless seeker of the romance 
that must or we die ! lie beyond the hills, you first 
see him in action ; find him in the year 1893, aged eight, 
leading revolutions in the back yard. But equally, since 
this is a serious study of an average young American, 
there should be an indication of his soil -nourished an- 
cestry. 

Carl was second-generation Norwegian ; American- 
born, American in speech, American in appearance, save 
for his flaxen hair and china -blue eyes, and, thanks to 
the flag-decked public school, overwhelmingly American 
in tradition. When he was born the " typical Americans " 
of earlier stocks had moved to city palaces or were ma- 
rooned on run-down farms. It was Carl Ericson, not a 
Trowbridge or a Stuyvesant or a Lee or a Grant, who 
was the " typical American " of his period. It was for 

ii 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

him to carry on the American destiny of extending the 
Western horizon ; his to restore the wintry Pilgrim 
virtues and the exuberant, October, partridge-drumming 
days of Daniel Boone ; then to add, in his own or another 
generation, new American aspirations for beauty. 

They are the New Yankees, these Scandinavians of 
Wisconsin and Minnesota and the Dakotas, with a human 
breed that can grow, and a thousand miles to grow in. 
The foreign-born parents, when they first come to the 
Northern Middle -west, huddle in unpainted farm-houses 
with grassless dooryards and fly-zizzmg kitchens and 
smelly dairies, set on treeless, shadeless, unsoftened 
leagues of prairie or bunched in new clearings ragged 
with small stumps. The first generation are alien and 
forlorn. The echoing fiords of Trondhjem and the moors 
of Finmark have clipped their imaginations, silenced 
their laughter, hidden with ice their real tenderness. 
In America they go sedulously to the bare Lutheran 
church and frequently drink ninety-per-cent. alcohol. 
They are also heroes, and have been the makers of a 
new land, from the days of Indian raids and ox-teams 
and hillside dug-outs to now, repeating in their patient 
hewing the history of the Western Reserve. ... In 
one generation or even in one decade they emerge from 
the desolation of being foreigners. They, and the Ger- 
mans, pay Yankee mortgages with blood and sweat. 
They swiftly master politics, voting for honesty rather 
than for hand-shakes ; they make keen, scrupulously 
honest business deals ; send their children to school ; 
accumulate land one section, two sections or move 
to town to keep shop and ply skilled tools ; become 
Methodists and Congregationalists ; are neighbourly with 
Yankee manufacturers and doctors and teachers, and in 
one generation, or less, are completely American. 

So was it with Carl Ericson. His carpenter father 
had come from Norway, by way of steerage and a farm 
in Wisconsin, changing his name from Ericsen. Eric- 
son senior owned his cottage and, though he still said, 
" Aye ban going," he talked as naturally of his own 

12 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

American tariff and his own Norwegian -American Governor 
as though he had five generations of Connecticut or Vir- 
ginia ancestry. 

Now, it was Carl's to go on, to seek the flowering. 

Unconscious that he was the heir-apparent of the age, 
but decidedly conscious that the woodshed was dark, 
Carl finished the pile. 

From the step of the woodshed he regarded the world 
with plaintive boredom. 
" Ir-r-r-r-rving ! " he called. 
No answer from Irving, the next-door boy. 
The village was rustlingly quiet. Carl skipped slowly 
and unhappily to the group of box-elders beside the 
workshop and stuck his finger-nails into the cobwebby 
crevices of the black bark. He made overtures for com- 
pany on any terms to a robin, a woolly worm, and a large 
blue fly, but they all scorned his advances, and when 
he yelled an ingratiating invitation to a passing dog it 
seemed to swallow its tail and ears as it galloped off. 
No one else appeared. 
Before the kitchen window he quavered : 
" Ma-ma ! " 

In the kitchen, the muffled pounding of a flat-iron 
upon the padded ironing-board. 
" Ma ! " 

Mrs. Ericson's whitey-yellow hair, pale eyes, and small 
nervous features were shadowed behind the cotton cur- 
tains. 

Veil ? " she said. 
I haven't got noth-ing to do-o." 
Go pile the vood." 
I piled piles of it." 
Then you can go and play." 
I been playing." 
Then play some more." 
I ain't got nobody to play with." 
Then find somebody. But don't you step vun step 
out of this yard." 

13 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I don't see why I can't go outa the yard ! " 

" Because I said so." 

Again the sound of the flat-iron. 

Carl invented a game in which he was to run in circles, 
but not step on the grass ; he made the tenth inspection 
that day of the drying hazelnuts whose husks were turn- 
ing to seal-brown on the woodshed roof ; he hunted for 
a good new bottle to throw at Irving Lamb's barn ; he 
mended his catapult ; he perched on a bench and watched 
the street. Nothing passed, nothing made an interesting 
rattling, except one wagon. 

From over the water another gun-shot murmured of 
distant hazards. 

Carl jumped down from the bench and marched deliber- 
ately out of the yard, along Oak Street toward The Hill, 
the smart section of Joralemon, where live in exclusive 
state five large houses that get painted nearly every 
year. 

" I'm gonna seek-my-fortune. I'm gonna find Bennie 
and go swimming," he vowed. Calmly as Napoleon 
defying his marshals, General Carl disregarded the sordid 
facts that it was too late in the year to go swimming, 
and that Benjamin Franklin Rusk couldn't swim, any- 
way. He clumped along, planting his feet with spats 
of dust, very dignified and melancholy but, like all small 
boys, occasionally going mad and running in chase of 
nothing at all till he found it. 

He stopped before the House with Mysterious Shutters. 

Carl had never made b'lieve fairies or princes ; rather, 
he was in the secret world of boyhood a soldier, a trapper, 
or a swing-brakeman on the M. & D.R. But he was 
bespelled by the suggestion of grandeur in the iron fence 
and gracious trees and dark carriage-shed of the House 
with Shutters. It was a large, square, solid brick struc- 
ture, set among oaks and sinister pines, once the home, 
or perhaps the mansion, of Banker Whiteley, but un- 
occupied for years. Leaves rotted before the deserted 
carriage-shed. The disregarded steps in front were 
seamed with shallow pools of water for days after a rain. 

14 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

The windows had always been darkened, but not by 
broad-slatted outside shutters, smeared with house- 
paint to which stuck tiny black hairs from the paint- 
brush, like the ordinary houses of Joralemon. Instead, 
these windows were masked with inside shutters haughtily 
varnished to a hard refined brown. 

To-day the windows were open, the shutters folded ; 
furniture was being moved in; and just inside the iron 
gate a frilly little girl was playing with a whitewashed 
conch-shell. 

She must have been about ten at that time, since Carl 
was eight. She was a very dressy and complacent child, 
possessed not only of a clean white muslin with three 
rows of tucks, immaculate bronze boots, and a green 
tam-o'-shanter, but also of a large hair-ribbon, a ribbon 
sash, and a silver chain with a large, gold-washed, heart- 
shaped locket. She was softly plump, softly gentle of face, 
softly brown of hair, and softly pleasant of speech. 

' Hello ! " said she. 

' H'lo ! " 

' What's your name, little boy ? " 

' Ain't a little boy. I'm Carl Ericson." 

' Oh, are you ? I'm " 

' I'm gonna have a shot-gun when I'm fifteen." He 
shyly hurled a stone at a telegraph-pole to prove that 
he was not shy. 

" My name is Gertie Cowles. I came from Minne- 
apolis. My mamma owns part of the Joralemon Flour 
Mill. . . . Are you a nice boy ? We just moved here 
and I don't know anybody. Maybe my mamma will 
let me play with you if you are a nice boy." 

" I jus' soon come play with you. If you play soldiers. 
. . . My pa's the smartest man in Joralemon. He 
builded Alex Johnson's house. He's got a gun." 
" Oh. . . . My mamma's a widow." 
Carl hung by his arms from the gate-pickets while 
she breathed, " M-m-m-m-m-m-y ! " in admiration at 
the feat. 

" That ain't nothing. I can hang by my knees on a 

15 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

trapeze. . . . What did you come from Minneapolis 
for ? " 

" We're going to live here/' she said. 

" Oh." 

" I went to the Chicago World's Fair with my mamma 
this summer." 

" Aw, you didn't ! " 

" I did so. And I saw a teeny engine so small it was 
in a walnut-shell and you had to look at it through a 
magnifying-glass and it kept on running like anything." 

" Huh ! that's nothing ! Ben Rusk, he went to the 
World's Fair, too, and he saw a statchue that was bigger 'n 
our house and all pure gold. You didn't see that." 

" I did so ! And we got cousins in Chicago and we 
stayed with them, and Cousin Edgar is a very prominent 
doctor for eyenear and stummick." 

" Aw, Ben Rusk's pa is a doctor, too. And he's got 
a brother what's going to be a sturgeon." 

" I got a brother. He's a year older than me. His 
name is Ray. . . . There's lots more people in Minne- 
apolis than there is in Joralemon. There's a hundred 
thousand people in Minneapolis." 

" That ain't nothing. My pa was born in Christiania, 
in the Old Country, and they's a million million people 
there." 

" Oh, there is not ! " 

" Honest there is." 

" Is there, honest ? " Gertie was admiring now. 

He looked patronizingly at the red-plush furniture 
which was being splendidly carried into the great house 
from Jordan's dray an old friend of Carl's, which had 
often carried him banging through town. He conde- 
scended: 

" Jiminy ! You don't know Bennie Rusk nor nobody, 
do you ! I'll bring him and we can play soldiers. And 
we can make tents out of carpets. Did you ever run 
through carpets on the line ? " 

He pointed to the row of rugs and carpets airing beside 
the carriage-shed. 

16 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" No. Is it fun ? " 

" It's awful scary. But I ain't afraid/ 1 

He dashed at the carpets and entered their long narrow 
tent. To tell the truth, when he stepped from the sun- 
shine into the intense darkness he was slightly afraid. 
The Ericsons' one carpet made a short passage, but to 
pass on and on and on through this succession of heavy 
rug mats, where snakes and poisonous insects might 
hide, and where the rough-threaded, gritty under-surface 
scratched his pushing hands, was fearsome. He emerged 
with a whoop and encouraged her to try the feat. She 
peeped inside the first carpet, but withdrew her head, 
giving homage : 

" Oh, it's so dark in there where you went ! " 

He promptly performed the feat again. 

As they wandered back to the gate to watch the furni- 
ture-man Gertie tried to regain the superiority due her 
years by remarking, of a large escritoire which was being 
juggled into the front door, " My papa bought that 
desk in Chicago " 

Carl broke in, " I'll bring Bennie Rusk, and me and 
him '11 teach you to play soldiers." 

" My mamma don't think I ought to play games. I've 
got a lot of dolls, but I'm too old for dolls. I play Authors 
with mamma, sometimes. And dominoes. Authors is a 
very nice game." 

" But maybe your ma will let you play Indian squaw, 
and me and Bennie '11 tie you to a stake and scalp you. 
That won't be rough like soldiers. But I'm going to 
be a really-truly soldier. I'm going to be a norficer in 
the army." 

" I got a cousin that's an officer in the army," Gertie 
said grandly, bringing her yellow-ribboned braid round 
over her shoulder and gently brushing her lips with the 
end. 

" Cross-your-heart ? " 

" Um-huh." 

" Cross-your-heart, hope-t'-die if you ain't ? " 

" Honest he's an officer." 

17 B 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Jiminy crickets ! Say, Gertie, could he make me a 
norficer ? Let's go find him. Does he live near here ? " 

" Oh my, no ! He's 'way off in San Francisco." 

" Come on. Let's go there. You and me. Gee ! I 
like you ! You got a' awful pertty dress." 

" 'Tain't polite to compliment me to my face. Mamma 
says " 

" Come on ! Let's go ! We're going ! " 

" Oh no. I'd like to," she faltered, " but my mamma 
wouldn't let me. She don't let me play around with 
boys, anyway. She's in the house now. And besides, 
it's 'way far off across the sea, to San Francisco ; it's 
beyond the salt sea where the Mormons live, and they 
all got seven wives." 

" Beyond the sea like Christiania ? Ah, 'tain't ! It's 
in America, because Mr. Lamb went there last winter. 
'Sides, even if it was across the sea, couldn't we go an* 
be stow'ways, like the Younger Brothers and all them ? 
And Little Lord Fauntleroy. He went and was a lord, 
and he wasn't nothing but a' orphing. My ma read me 
about him, only she don't talk English very good, but 
we'll go stow'ways," he wound up, triumphantly. 

" GemTiTtiTiTrude ! " A high-pitched voice from the 
house. 

Gertie glowered at a tall, meagre woman with a long 
green-and-white apron over a most respectable black 
alpaca gown. Her nose was large, her complexion dull, 
but she carried herself so commandingly as to be almost 
handsome and very formidable. 

" Oh, dear ! " Gertie stamped her foot. " Now I got to 
go in. I never can have any fun. Good-bye, Carl " 

He urgently interrupted her tragic farewell. " Say ! 
Gee whillikins ! I know what we'll do. You sneak out 
the back door and I'll meet you, and we'll run away and 
go seek-our-fortunes and we'll find your cousin " 

" Gerrrtrrrude ! " from the house. 

" Yes, mamma, I'm just coming." To Carl : " 'Sides, 
I'm older 'n you and I'm 'most grown-up, and I don't 
believe in Santy Claus, and onc't I taught the infant class 

18 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

at St. Chrysostom's Sunday school when the teacher 
wasn't there ; anyway, I and Miss Bessie did, and I asked 
them 'most all the questions about the trumpets and 
pitchers. So I couldn't run away. I'm too old." 

" Genrtrrrude, come here this instant 1 " 

" Come on. I'll be waiting," Carl demanded. 

She was gone. She was being ushered into the House 
of Mysterious Shutters by Mrs. Cowles. Carl prowled 
down the street, a fine, new, long stick at his side, like a 
sabre. He rounded the block, and waited behind the 
Cowles's carriage-shed, doing sentry-go and planning the 
number of parrots and pieces of eight he would bring 
back from San Francisco. Then his father and mother 
would be sorry they'd talked about him in their Nor- 
wegian ! 

" Carl ! " Gertie was running around the corner of the 
carnage-shed. " Oh, Carl, I had to come out and see you 
again, but I can't go seek-our-fortunes with you, 'cause 
they've got the piano moved in now and I got to practise, 
else I'll grow up just an ignorant common person, and, 
besides, there's going to be tea-biscuits and honey for 
supper. I saw the honey." 

He smartly swung his sabre to his shoulder, ordering, 
" Come on ! " 

Gertie edged forward, perplexedly sucking a finger-joint, 
and followed him along Lake Street toward open country. 
They took to the Minnesota & Dakota railway track, a 
natural footpath in a land where the trains were few and 
not fast, as was the condition of the single-tracked M. & 
D. of 1893. In a worried manner Carl inquired whether 
San Francisco was north-west or south-east the directions 
in which ran all self-respecting railways. Gertie blandly 
declared that it lay to the north-west ; and north-west 
they started toward the swamps and the first forests of 
the Big Woods. 

He had wonderlands to show her along the track. To 
him every detail was of scientific importance. He knew 
intimately the topography of the fields beside the track ; 
in which corner of Tubbs's pasture, between the track and 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the lake, the scraggly wild clover grew, and down what 
part of the gravel-bank it was most exciting to roll. As 
far along the track as the Arch, each railway tie (or sleeper) 
had for him a personality : the fat, white tie which oozed 
at the end into an awkward knob, he had always hated 
because it resembled a flattened grub ; a new tamarack 
tie with a piece of fresh bark still on it, recently put in 
by the section gang, was an entertaining stranger ; and 
he particularly introduced Gertie to his favourite, a wine- 
coloured tie which always smiled. 

Gertie, though noblesse oblige compelled her to be gracious 
to the imprisoned ties writhing under the steel rails, did 
not really show much enthusiasm till he led her to the 
justly celebrated Arch. Even then she boasted of Minne- 
haha Falls and Fort Snelling and Lake Calhoun ; but, upon 
his grieved solicitation, declared that, after all, the Twin 
Cities had nothing to compare with the Arch a sand- 
stone tunnel full twenty feet high, miraculously boring 
through the railway embankment, and faced with great 
stones which you could descend by lowering yourself from 
stone to stone. Through the Arch ran the creek, with 
rare minnows in its pools, while important paths led 
from the creek to a wilderness of hazelnut-bushes. He 
taught her to tear the drying husks from the nuts and 
crack the nuts with stones. At his request Gertie pro- 
duced two pins from unexpected parts of her small frilly 
dress. He found a piece of string, and they fished for 
perch in the creek. As they had no bait whatever, their 
success was not large. 

A flock of ducks flew low above them, seeking a pond 
for the night. 

" Jiminy ! " Carl cried, " it's getting late. We got to 
hurry. It's awful far to San Francisco and I don't 
know gee ! where'll we sleep to-night ? " 

" We hadn't ought to go on, had we ? " 

" Yes 1 Come on ! " 



20 



CHAPTER II 

FROM the creek they tramped nearly two miles, through 
the dark gravel-banks of the railway cutting, across 
the high trestle over Joralemon River where Gertie had 
to be coaxed from stringer to stringer. They stopped 
only when a gopher in a clearing demanded attention. 
Gertie finally forgot the superiority of age when she saw 
Carl whistle the quivering gopher-cry, while the gopher 
sat as though hypnotized on his pile of fresh black earth. 
Carl stalked him. As always happened, the gopher popped 
into his hole just before Carl reached him ; but it certainly 
did seem that he had nearly been caught ; and Gertie was 
jumping with excitement when Carl returned, strutting, 
cocking his sabre-stick over his shoulder. 

Gertie was tired. She, the Minneapolis girl, had not 
been much awed by the railway ties nor the Arch, but 
now she tramped proudly beside the man who could catch 
gophers, till Carl inquired : 

" Are you gettin' awful hungry ? It's a'most supper- 
time/' 

" Yes, I am hungry," trustingly. 

"I'm going to go and swipe some 'taters. I guess may- 
be there's a farm-house over there. I see a dumbly be- 
yond the slough. You stay here." 

" I dassn't stay alone. Oh, I better go home. I'm 
scared." 

" Come on. I won't let nothing hurt you." 

They circled a swamp surrounded by woods, Carl's 
left arm about her, his right clutching the sabre. Though 
the sunset was magnificent and a gay company of black- 
birds swayed on the reeds of the slough, dusk was sneak- 
ing out from the underbrush that blurred the forest floor, 
and Gertie caught the panic fear. She wished to go home 
at once. She saw darkness reaching for them. Her 
mother would unquestionably whip her for staying out 
so late. She discovered a mud-smear on the side of her 
skirt, and a shoe-button was gone. She was cold. Finally, 
if she missed supper at home she would get no tea-biscuits 

21 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and honey. Gertie's polite little stomach knew its rights 
and insisted upon them. 

" I wish I hadn't come ! " she lamented. " I wish I 
hadn't. Do you s'pose mamma will be dreadfully angry ? 
Won't you 'splain to her ? You will, won't you ? " 

It was Carl's duty, as officer commanding, to watch 
the blackened stumps that sprang from the underbrush. 
And there was Something, 'way over in the woods, beyond 
the trees horribly gashed to whiteness by lightning. Per- 
haps the Something hadn't moved ; perhaps it was a 
stump 

But he answered her loudly, so that lurking robbers 
might overhear : "I know a great big man over there, 
and he's a friend of mine ; he's a brakie on the M. & D., 
and he lets me ride in the cab any time I want to, and 
he's right behind us. (I was just making b'lieve, Gertie ; 
I'll 'splain everything to your mother.) He's bigger 'n 
anybody ! " More conversationally : " Aw, Jiminy ! 
Gertie, don't cry ! Please don't. I'll take care of you. 
And if you ain't going to have any supper we'll swipe 
some 'taters and roast 'em." He gulped. He hated 
to give up, to return to woodshed and chicken-yard, 
but he conceded : "I guess maybe we hadn't better go 
seek-our-fortunes no more to " 

A long wail tore through the air. The children shrieked 
together and fled, stumbling in dry bog, weeping in terror. 
Carl's backbone was all one prickling bar of ice. But he 
waved his stick fiercely, and, because he had to care for 
her, was calm enough to realize that the wail must have 
been the cry of the bittern. 

" It wasn't nothing but a bird, Gertie ; it can't hurt 
us. Heard 'em lots of times." 

Nevertheless, he was still trembling when they reached 
the edge of a farm-yard clearing beyond the swamp. 
It was grey-dark. They could see only the mass of a 
barn and a farmer's cabin, both new to Carl. Holding her 
hand, he whispered : 

" They must be some 'taters or 'beggies in the barn. 
I'll sneak in and see. You stand here by the corn-crib 

22 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and work out some ears between the bars. See like 
this." 

He left her. The sound of her frightened snivel aged 
him. He tiptoed to the barn door, eyeing a light in the 
farm-house. He reached far up to the latch of the broad 
door and pulled out the wooden pin. The latch slipped 
noisily from its staple. The door opened with a groaning 
creek and banged against the barn. 

Paralysed, hearing all the silence of the wild clearing, 
he waited. There was a step in the house. The door 
opened. A huge farmer, tousle-haired, black-bearded, 
held up a lamp and peered out. It was the Black 
Dutchman. 

The Black Dutchman was a living legend. He often 
got drunk and rode past Carl's home at night, lashing 
his horses and cursing in German. He had once thrashed 
the school-teacher for whipping his son. He had no friends. 

" Oh dear, oh dear, I wisht I was home ! " sobbed 
Carl ; but he started to run to Gertie's protection. 

The Black Dutchman set down the lamp. " Wer ist 
da? I see you ! Damnation ! " he roared, and lumbered 
out, seizing a pitchfork from the manure-pile. 

Carl galloped up to Gertie, panting, " He's after us ! " 
and dragged her into the hazel-bushes beyond the corn- 
crib. As his country-bred feet found and followed a path 
toward deeper woods, he heard the Black Dutchman 
beating the bushes with his pitchfork, shouting : 

" Hiding ! I know vere you are ! Hah ! " 

Carl jerked his companion forward till he lost the path. 
There was no light. They could only crawl on through 
the bushes, whose malicious fingers stung Gertie's face 
and plucked at her proud frills. He lifted her over fallen 
trees, freed her from branches, and all the time, between 
his own sobs, he encouraged her and tried to pretend that 
their incredible plight was not the end of the world, 
whimpering : 

" We're a'most on the road now, Gertie ; honest we 
are. I can't hear him now. I ain't afraid of him 
he wouldn't dast hurt us or my pa would fix him." 

23 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Oh ! I hear him ! He's coming ! Oh, please save 
me, Carl ! " 

" Gee ! run fast ! . . . Aw, I don't hear him. I ain't 
afraid of him ! " 

They burst out on a grassy woodland road and lay 
down, panting. They could see a strip of stars overhead ; 
and the world was dark, silent, in the inscrutable night 
of autumn. Carl said nothing. He tried to make out 
where they were where this road would take them. It 
might run deeper into the woods, which he did not know 
as he did the Arch environs ; and he had so twisted 
through the brush that he could not tell in what direction 
lay either the main wagon-road or the M. & D. track. 

He lifted her up, and they plodded hand in hand till 
she said : 

" I'm awful tired. It's awful cold. My feet hurt 
awfully. Carl dear, oh, pleassssse take me home now. I 
want my mamma. Maybe she won't whip me now. It's 

so dark and ohhhhhh " She muttered, incoherently : 

" There ! By the road ! He's waiting for us ! " She 
sank down, her arm over her face, groaning, " Don't hurt 
me!" 

Carl straddled before her, on guard. There was a dis- 
torted mass crouched by the road just ahead. He tingled 
with the chill of fear, down through his thighs. He had 
lost his stick-sabre, but he bent, felt for, and found another 
stick, and piped to the shadowy watcher : 

" I ain't af-f-fraid of you ! You gwan away from here ! " 

The watcher did not answer. 

" I know who you are ! " Bellowing with fear, Carl 
ran forward, furiously waving his stick and clamouring : 
" You better not touch me ! " The stick came down 
with a silly, flat clack upon the watcher a roadside 
boulder. "It's just a rock, Gertie ! Jiminy, I'm glad ! 
It's just a rock ! . . . Aw, I knew it was a rock all the 
time ! Ben Rusk gets scared every time he sees a stump 
in the woods, and he always thinks it's a robber." 

Chattily, Carl went back, lifted her again, endured 
her kissing his cheek, and they started on. 

24 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I'm so cold/' Gertie moaned from time to time, till 
he offered : 

" I'll try and build a fire. Maybe we better camp. 
I got a match what I swiped from the kitchen. Maybe 
I can make a fire, so we better camp." 

" I don't want to camp. I want to go home." 

" I don't know where we are, I told you." 

" Can you make a regular camp-fire ? Like Indians ? " 

" Um-huh." 

" Let's. . . . But I rather go home." 

" You ain't scared now. Are you, Gertie ? Gee ! 
you're a' awful brave girl ! " 

" No, but I'm cold and I wisht we had some tea-bis- 
cuits " 

Ever too complacent was Miss Gertrude Cowles, the 
Good Girl in whatever group she joined ; but she seemed 
to trust in Carl's heroism, and as she murmured of a 
certain chilliness she seemed to take it for granted that 
he would immediately bring her some warmth. Carl 
had never heard of the romantic males who, in fiction, so 
frequently offer their coats to ladies fair but chill ; yet 
he stripped off his jacket and wrapped it about her, while 
his gingham-clad shoulders twitched with cold. 

" 1 can hear a crick, 'way, 'way over there. Le's camp 
by it," he decided. 

They scrambled through the brush, Carl leading her 
and feeling the way. He found a patch of long grass 
beside the creek ; with only his tpemulous hands for eyes 
he gathered leaves, twigs, and dead branches, and piled 
them together in a pyramid, as he had been taught to do 
by the older woods-faring boys. 

It was still ; no wind ; but Carl, who had gobbled up 
every word he had heard about deer-hunting in the north 
woods, got a great deal of interesting fear out of dreading 
what might happen if his one match did not light. He 
made Gertie kneel beside him with the jacket outspread, 
and he hesitated several times before he scratched the 
match. It flared up ; the leaves caught ; the pile of 
twigs was instantly aflame. 

25 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

He wept, " Jiminy, if it hadn't lighted ! . . ." By and 
by he announced loudly, " I wasn't afraid," to convince 
himself, and sat up, throwing twigs on the fire grandly. 

Gertie, who didn't really appreciate heroism, sighed, 
"I'm hungry and " 

" My second-grade teacher told us a story how they 
was a' arctic explorer and he was out in a blizzard " 

" and I wish we had some tea-biscuits," concluded 
Gertie, companionably but firmly. 

" I'll go pick some hazelnuts." 

He left her feeding the flame. As he crept away, the fire 
behind him, he was dreadfully frightened, now that he 
had no one to protect. A few yards from the fire he 
stopped in terror. He clutched a branch so tightly that 
it creased his palm. Two hundred yards away, across 
the creek, was the small square of a lighted window hover- 
ing detached in the darkness. 

For a panic-filled second Carl was sure that it must 
be the Black Dutchman's window. His tired child-mind 
whined. But there was no creek near the Black Dutch- 
man's. Though he did not want to venture up to the 
unknown light, he growled, " I will if I want to ! " and 
limped forward. 

He had to cross the creek, the strange creek whose 
stepping-stones he did not know. Shivering, hesitant, he 
stripped off his shoes and stockings and dabbled the edge 
of the water with reluctant toes, to see if it was cold. 
It was. 

" Dog-gone ! " he swore, mightily. He plunged in, 
waded across. 

He found a rock and held it ready to throw at the dog 
that was certain to come snapping at him as he tiptoed 
through the clearing. His wet legs smarted with cold. 
The fact that he was trespassing made him feel more for- 
lornly lost than ever. But he stumbled up to the one- 
room shack that was now shaping itself against the sky. 
It was a house that, he believed, he had never seen before. 
When he reached it he stood for fully a minute, afraid to 
move. But from across the creek whimpered Gertie's call : 

26 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Carl, oh, Carl, where are you ? " 

He had to hurry. He crept along the side of the shack 
to the window. It was too high in the wall for him to 
peer through. He felt for something to stand upon, and 
found a short board, which he wedged against the side 
of the shack. 

He looked through the dusty window for a second. 
He sprang from the board. 

Alone in the shack was the one person about Joralemon 
more feared, more fabulous than the Black Dutchman 
" Bone " Stillman, the man who didn't believe in God. 

Bone Stillman read Robert G. Ingersoll, and said what 
he thought. Otherwise he was not dangerous to the 
public peace ; a lone old bachelor farmer. It was said that 
he had been a sailor or a policeman, a college professor or 
a priest, a forger or an embezzler. Nothing positive was 
known except that three years ago he had appeared and 
bought this farm. He was a grizzled man of fifty-five, 
with a long, tobacco-stained, grey moustache and an 
open-necked blue-flannel shirt. To Carl, beside the 
shack, Bone Stillman was all that was demoniac. 

Gertie was calling again. Carl climbed upon his board 
and resumed his inspection, seeking a course of action. 

The one-room shack was lined with tar-paper, on which 
were pinned lithographs of Robert G. Ingersoll, Karl 
Marx, and Napoleon. Under a gun-rack made of deer 
antlers was a cupboard half filled with dingy books, 
shot-gun shells, and fishing tackle. Bone was reading by 
a pine table still littered with supper-dishes. Before him 
lay a clean-limbed English setter. The dog was asleep. 
In the shack was absolute stillness and loneliness inti- 
midating. 

While Carl watched, Bone dropped his book and said, 
" Here, Bob, what d'you think of single-tax, heh ? " 

Carl gazed apprehensively. ... No one but Bone was in 
the shack. ... It was said that the devil himself some- 
times visited here. ... On Carl was the chill of a night- 
mare. 

The dog raised his head, stirred, blinked, pounded his 

27 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

tail on the floor, and rose, a gentlemanly, affable chap, to 
lay his muzzle on Bone's knee while the solitary droned : 

" This fellow says in this book here that the city's 
the natural place to live aboriginal tribes prove man's 
naturally gregarious. What d'you think about it, heh, 
Bob ? . . . Rotten country, this is. No thinking. What 
in the name of the seven saintly sisters did I ever want to 
be a farmer for, heh ? 

" Let's skedaddle, Bob. 

" I ain't an atheist. I'm an agnostic. 

" Lonely, Bob ? Go over and talk to his whiskers, 
Karl Marx. He's liberal. He don't care what you say. 

He Oh, shut up ! You're damn poor company. 

Say something ! " 

Carl, still motionless, was the more agonized because 
there was no sound from Gertie, not even a sobbing call. 
Anything might have happened to her. While he was 
coaxing himself to knock on the pane, Stillman puttered 
about the shack, petting the dog, filling his pipe. He 
passed out of Carl's range of vision toward the side of 
the room in which was the window. 

A huge hand jerked the window open and caught Carl 
by the hair. Two wild faces stared at each other, six 
inches apart. 

" I saw you. Came here to plague me ! " roared Bone 
Stillman. 

" Oh, mister, oh please, mister, I wasn't. Me and 

Gertie is lost in the woods we Ouch ! Oh, please 

lemme go ! " 

" Why, you're just a brat ! Come here.'* 

The lean arm of Bone Stillman dragged Carl through 
the window by the slack of his gingham shirt. 

" Lost, heh ? Where's t'other one Gertie, was it ? " 

" She's over in the woods. 11 

" Poor little tyke 1 Wait '11 I light my lantern." 

The swinging lantern made friendly ever-changing circles 
of light, and Carl no longer feared the dangerous terri- 
tory of the yard. Riding pick-a-back on Bone Still- 
man, he looked down contentedly on the dog's deferential 

28 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

tail beside them. They found Gertie asleep by the fire. 
She scarcely awoke as Stillman picked her up and carried 
her back to his shack. She nestled her downy hair beneath 
his chin and closed her eyes. 

Stillman said, cheerily, as he ushered them into his 
mansion : " I'll hitch up and take you back to town. 
You young tropical tramps ! First you better have a 
bite to eat, though. What do kids eat ? " 

The dog was nuzzling Carl's hand, and Carl had 
almost forgotten his fear that the devil might appear. 
He was flatteringly friendly in his answer : " Porritch 
and meat and potatoes only I don't like potatoes, and 
pie / " 

" 'Fraid I haven't any pie, but how'd some bacon 
and eggs go ? " As he stoked up his cannon-ball stove 
and sliced the bacon, Stillman continued to the children, 
who were shyly perched on the buffalo-robe cover of 
his bed, " Were you scared in the woods ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Don't ever for Da Blast that egg ! Don't 

forget this, son : nothing outside of you can ever hurt 
you. It can chew up your toes, but it can't reach you. 
Nobody but you can hurt you. Let me try to make that 
clear, old man, if I can. . . . 

" There's your fodder. Draw up and set to. Pretty 
sleepy, are you ? I'll tell you a story. J' like to hear 
about how Napoleon smashed the theory of divine rule, 
or about how me and Charlie Weems explored Tiburon ? 
Well " 

Though Carl afterward remembered not one word of 
what Bone Stillman said, it is possible that the outcast's 
treatment of him as a grown-up friend was one of the 
most powerful of the intangible influences which were 
to push him toward the great world outside of Joralemon. 
The school-bound child taught by young ladies that 
the worst immorality was whispering in school ; the 
chief virtue, a dull quietude was here first given a reason- 
able basis for supposing that he was not always to be 
a back-yard boy. 

29 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

The man in the flannel shirt, who chewed tobacco, 
who wrenched infinitives apart and thrust profane words 
between, was for fifteen minutes Carl's Froebel and 
Montessori. 

Carl's recollection of listening to Bone blurs into one 
of being somewhere in the back of a wagon beside Gertie, 
wrapped in buffalo robes, and of being awakened by 
the stopping of the wagon when Bone called to a band 
of men with lanterns who were searching for the missing 
Gertie. Apparently the next second he was being lifted 
out before his home, and his aproned mother was kiss- 
ing him and sobbing, " Oh, my boy ! " He snuggled 
his head on her shoulder and said : 

"I'm cold. But I'm going to San Francisco." 



CHAPTER III 

CARL ERICSON, grown to sixteen and long trousers, 
trimmed the arc-lights for the Joralemon Power 
and Lighting Company, after school ; then at Eddie 
Klemm's billiard-parlour he won two games of Kelly 
pool, smoked a cigarette of flake tobacco and wheat- 
straw paper, and " chipped in " five cents toward a can 
of beer. 

A slender Carl, hesitating in speech, but with plenty 
to say ; rangy as a setter pup, silken-haired ; his Scandi- 
navian cheeks like petals at an age when his companions' 
faces were like maps of the moon ; stubborn and healthy ; 
wearing a celluloid collar and a plain black tie ; a blue- 
eyed, undistinguished, awkward, busy proletarian of 
sixteen, for whom evening clothes and poetry did not 
exist, but who quivered with inarticulate determinations 
to see Minneapolis, or even Chicago. To him it was 
sheer romance to parade through town with a tin haver- 
sack of carbons for the arc-lights, familiarly lowering 
the high-hung mysterious lamps, while his plodding 
acquaintances " clerked " in stores on Saturdays, or 
tended furnaces. Sometimes he donned the virile and 
noisy uniform of an electrician : army gauntlets, a 
coil of wire, pole-climbers strapped to his legs. Crunching 
his steel spurs into the crisp pine wood of the lighting- 
poles, he carelessly ascended to the place of humming 
wires and red cross-bars and green-glass insulators, while 
crowds of two and three small boys stared in awe from 
below. At such moments Carl did not envy the aristo- 
cratic leisure of his high-school schoolfellow, Fatty Ben 
Rusk, who, as son of the leading doctor, did not work, 
but stayed at home and read library books. 

Carl's own home was not adapted to the enchant- 
ments of a boy's reading. Perfectly comfortable it was, 
and clean with the hard cleanness that keeps oilcloth 
looking perpetually unused, but it was so airlessly respect- 
able that it doubled Carl's natural restlessness. It 
had been old Oscar Ericson's labour of love, but the 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

carpenter loved shininess more than space and leisure- 
His model for a house would have been a pine dry-goods 
box grained in imitation of oak. Oscar Ericson radiated 
intolerance and a belief in unimaginative, unresting 
labour. Every evening, collarless and carpet-slippered, 
ruffling his broom-coloured hair or stroking his large, long 
chin, while his shirt-collar moved ceaselessly in time 
to his breathing, he read a Norwegian paper. Carl's 
mother darned woollen socks and thought about milk- 
pans and the neighbours and breakfast. The creak of 
rockers filled the unventilated, oilcloth-floored sitting- 
room. The sound was as unchanging as the sacred posi- 
tions of the crayon enlargement of Mrs. Ericson's father, 
the green-glass top-hat for matches, or the violent ingrain 
rug with its dog's-head pattern. 

Carl's own room contained only plaster walls, a narrow 
wooden bed, a bureau, a kitchen chair. Fifteen minutes 
in this irreproachable home sent Carl off to Eddie Klemm's 
billiard-parlour, which was not irreproachable. 

He rather disliked the bitterness of beer and the acrid 
specks of cigarette tobacco that stuck to his lips, but 
the " bunch at Eddie's " were among the few people 
in Joralemon who were conscious of life. Eddie's estab- 
lishment was a long, white-plastered room with a pressed- 
steel ceiling and an unswept floor. On the walls were 
billiard-table-makers' calendars and a collection of chromos 
portraying bathing girls. The girls were of lithographic 
complexions, almost too perfect of feature, and their 
lips were more than ruby. Carl admired them. 

A September afternoon. The sixteen-year-old Carl 
was tipped back in a chair at Eddie Klemm's, one foot 
on a rung, while he discussed village scandals and told 
outrageous stories with Eddie Klemm, a brisk money- 
maker and vulgarian aged twenty-three, who wore a 
" fancy vest " and celluloid buttons on his lapels. Ben 
Rusk hesitatingly poked his head through the door. 

Eddie Klemm called, with business-like cordiality : 
" H'lo, Fatty ! Come in. How's your good health ? 

32 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Haven't reformed, have you ? Going to join us rough- 
necks ? Come on ; I'll teach you to play pool. Won't 
cost you a cent." 

" No, I guess I hadn't better. I was just looking for Carl." 

" Well, well, Fatty, ain't we ree-fined ! Why do we 
guess we hadn't to probably maybe oughtn't to had 
better ? " 

" Oh, I don't know. Some day I'll learn, I guess," 
sighed Fatty Ben Rusk, who knew perfectly that with a 
doctor father, a religious mother, and an effeminate taste 
for reading he could never be a town sport. 

" Hey ! watch out ! " shrieked Eddie. 

" Wh-what's the matter ? " gasped Fatty. 

" The floor 's falling on you ! " 

" Th th Aw, say, you're kidding me," said 

Fatty, weakly, with a propitiating smile. 

" Don't worry, son ; you're the third guy to-day that 
I've caught on that ! Stick around, son, and sit in any 
time, and I'll learn you some pool. You got just the 
right build for a champ player. Have a cigarette ? " 

The social amenities whereby Joralemon prepares 
her youth for the graces of life having been recognized, 
Fatty Rusk hitched a chair beside Carl, and muttered : 

" Say, Carl, here's what I wanted to tell you : I was 
just up to the Cowles's to take back a French grammar 
I borrowed to look at Maybe that ain't a hard- 
looking language ! What d'you think ? Mrs. Cowles 
told me Gertie is expected back to-morrow." 

" Gee whiz ! I thought she was going to stay in New 
York for two years ! And she's only been gone six 
months." 

" I guess Mrs. Cowles is kind of lonely without her," 
Ben mooned. 

" So now you'll be all nice and in love with Gertie again, 
heh ? It certainly gets me why you want to fall in love, 
Fatty, when you could go hunting." 

" If you'd read about King Arthur and Galahad and 
all them instead of reading the Scientific American, and 

about these fool horseless carriages and stuff There 

33 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

never will be any practical use for horseless carriages, 
anyway." 

" There will " growled Carl. 

" My mother says she don't believe the Lord ever 
intended us to ride without horses, or what did He give 
us horses for ? And the things always get stuck in the 
mud and you have to walk home mother was reading 
that in a newspaper, just the other day." 

" Son, let me tell you, I'll own a horseless carriage some 
day, and I bet I go an average of twenty miles an hour 
with it, maybe forty." 

" Oh, rats ! But I was saying, if you'd read some 
library books you'd know about love. Why, what 'd 
God put love in the world for " 

" Say, will you quit explaining^to me about what God 
did things f or ? " 

" Ouch ! Quit ! Awwww, quit, Carl. . . . Say, listen ; 
here's what I wanted to tell you : How if you and me and 
Adelaide Benner and some of us went down to the depot 
to meet Gertie, to-morrow ? She comes in on the twelve- 
forty-seven/' 

" Well, all right. Say, Bennie, you don't want to be 
worried when I kid you about being in love with Gertie. 
I don't think I'll ever get married. But it's all right 
for you." 

Saturday morning was so cool, so radiant, that Carl 
awakened early to a conviction that, no matter how im- 
portant meeting Gertie might be in the cosmic scheme, 
he was going hunting. He was downstairs by five. He 
fried two eggs, called Dolla^ Ingersoll, his dog son of 
Robert Ingersoll Stillman, gentleman dog then, in canvas 
hunting-coat and slouch-hat, tramped out of town south- 
ward, where the woods ended in prairie. Gertie's arrival 
was forgotten. 

It was a gipsy day. The sun rolled splendidly through 
the dry air, over miles of wheat stubble, whose grey- 
yellow prickles were transmuted by distance into tawny 
velvet, seeming' only the more spacious because of the 

34 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

straight, thin lines of barbed-wire fences lined with golden- 
rod, and solitary houses in willow groves. The dips and 
curves of the rolling plain drew him on ; the distances 
satisfied his eyes. A pleasant hum of insects filled the 
land's wide serenity with hidden life. 

Carl left a trail of happy, monotonous whistling behind 
him all day, as his dog followed the winding trail of prairie- 
chickens, as a covey of chickens rose with booming wings 
and he swung his shot-gun for a bead. He stopped by 
prairie-sloughs or bright-green bogs to watch for a duck. 
He hailed as equals the occasional groups of hunters in 
two-seated buggies, quartering the fields after circling 
dogs. He lunched contentedly on sandwiches of cold 
lamb, and lay with his arms under his head, gazing at a 
steeple fully ten miles away. 

By six of the afternoon he had seven prairie-chickens 
tucked inside the long pocket that lined the tail of his 
coat, and he headed for home, superior to miles, his quiet 
eyes missing none of the purple asters and golden-rod. 

As he began to think, he felt a bit guilty. The flowers 
suggested Gertie. He gathered a large bunch, poking 
stalks of aster among the golden-rod, examining the result 
at arm's-length. Yet when he stopped at the Rusks' 
in town, to bid Bennie take the rustic bouquet to Gertie, 
he replied to reproaches : 

" What you making all the fuss about my not being 
there to meet her for ? She got here all right, didn't she ? 
What j' expect me to do? Kiss hfer ? You ought to 
known it was too good a day for hunting to miss. . . . 
How's Gert ? Have a good time in New York ? " 

Carl himself took the flowers to her, however, and was 
so shyly attentive to her account of New York that he 
scarcely stopped to speak to the Cowles's " hired girl," 
who was his second cousin. . . . Mrs. Cowles overheard 
him shout, " Hello, Lena ! How's it going ? " to the hired 
girl with cousinly ease. Mrs. Cowles seemed chilly. Carl 
wondered why. 

From month to month of his junior year in high school 

35 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl grew more discontented. He let the lines of his 
Cicero fade into a grey blur that confounded Cicero's 
blatant virtue and Cat aline 's treachery, while he pictured 
himself tramping with snow-shoes and a pea-jacket into 
the snowy solemnities of the northern Minnesota tamarack 
swamps. Much of his discontent was caused by his learned 
preceptors. The teachers for this year were almost 
perfectly calculated to make any lad of the slightest in- 
dependence hate culture for the rest of his life. With 
the earnestness and industry usually ascribed to the 
devil, " Prof/' Sybrant E. Larsen (B.A. Platonis), Miss 
McDonald, and Miss Muzzy kept up ninety-five per cent, 
discipline, and seven per cent, instruction in anything in 
the least worth while. 

Miss Muzzy was sarcastic, and proud of it. She was 
sarcastic to Carl when he gruffly asked why he couldn't 
study French instead of " all this Latin stuff." If there 
be any virtue in the study of Latin (and we have all for- 
gotten all our Latin except the fact that " suburb " means 
" under the city " i.e., a subway), Carl was blinded to 
it for ever. Miss Muzzy wore eyeglasses and had no 
bosom. Carl's father used to say approvingly, " Dat 
Miss Muzzy don't stand for no nonsense,' 1 and Mrs. Dr. 
Rusk often had her for dinner. . . . Miss McDonald, fat 
and slow-spoken and kind, prone to use the word " dearie," 
to read Longfellow, and to have buttons off her blouses, 
used on Carl a feminine weapon more unfair than the 
robust sarcasm of Miss Muzzy. For after irritating a self- 
respecting boy into rudeness by pawing his soul with 
damp, puffy hands, she would weep. She was a kind, 
honest, and reverent bovine. Carl sat under her super- 
vision in the junior room, with its hardwood and black- 
boards and plaster, high windows and portraits of Wash- 
ington and a President who was either Madison or Monroe 
(no one ever remembered which). He hated the eternal 
school smell of drinking-water pails and chalk and slates 
and varnish ; he loathed the blackboard erasers, white with 
crayon-dust ; he found inspiration only in the laboratory 
where " Prof." Larsen mistaught physics and rebuked 

36 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

questions about the useless part of chemistry that is, 
the part that wasn't in their textbooks. 

As for literature, Ben Rusk persuaded him to try Captain 
Marryat and Conan Doyle. Carl met Sherlock Holmes 
in a paper-bound book, during a wait for flocks of mallards 
on the duck-pass, which was a little temple of silver birches 
bare with November. He crouched down in his canvas 
coat and rubber boots, gun across knees, and read for an 
hour without moving. As he tramped home, into a vast 
Minnesota sunset like a furnace of fantastic coals, past the 
garnet-tinged ice of lakes, he kept his gun cocked and under 
his elbow, ready for the royal robber who was dogging the 
personage of Baker Street. 

He hunted much ; distinguished himself in geometry 
and chemistry ; nearly failed in Cicero and English ; 
learned to play an extraordinarily steady game of bottle 
pool at Eddie Klemm's. 

And always Gertie Cowles, gently hesitant toward 
Ben Rusk's affection, kept asking Carl why he didn't 
come to see her oftener, and play tiddledywinks, 

On the Friday morning before the Christmas holidays, 
Carl and Ben Rusk were cleaning up the chemical labora- 
tory, its pine experiment-bench and iron sink and rough 
floor. Bennie worried a rag in the sink with the resigned 
manner of a man who, having sailed with purple banners 
the sunset sea of tragedy, goes bravely on with a life grey 
and weary. 

The town was excited. Gertie Cowles was giving a party, 
and she had withdrawn her invitation to Eddie Klemm. 
Gertie was staying away from high school, gracefully 
recovering from a cold. For two weeks the junior and 
senior classes had been furtively exhibiting her holly- 
decked cards of invitation. Eddie had been included, but 
after his quarrel with Howard Griffin, a Plato College 
freshman who was spending the vacation with Ray Cowles, 
it had been explained to Eddie that perhaps he would 
prefer not to come to the party. 

Gertie's brother, Murray, or " Ray," was the town hero. 
He had captained the high-school football team. He was 

37 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

tall and very black-haired, and he " jollied " the girls. 
It was said that twenty girls in Joralemon and Wakamin, 
and a " grass widow " in St. Hilary, wrote to him. He 
was now a freshman in Plato College, Plato, Minnesota. 
He had brought home with him his friend, Howard Griffin, 
whose people lived in South Dakota and were said to be 
wealthy. Griffin had been very haughty to Eddie Klemm, 
when introduced to that brisk young man at the billiard- 
parlour, and now, the town eagerly learned, Eddie had 
been rejected of society. 

In the laboratory Carl was growling : " Well, say, Fatty, 
if it was right for them to throw Eddie out, where do I 
come in ? His dad's a barber, and mine's a carpenter, 
and that's just as bad. Or how about you ? I was read- 
ing that docs used to be just barbers." 

" Aw, thunder ! " said Ben Rusk, the doctor's scion, 
uncomfortably, " you're just arguing. I don't believe that 
about doctors being barbers. Don't it tell about doctors 
'way back in the Bible ? Why, of course ! Luke was a 
physician ! 'Sides, it ain't a question of Eddie's being a 
barber's son. I sh'd think you'd realize that Gertie isn't 
well. She wouldn't want to have to entertain both Eddie 
and Griffin, and Griffin's her guest ; and besides " 

" You're getting all tangled up. If I was to let you go 
on you'd trip over a long word and bust your dome. Come 
on. We've done enough cleaning. Le's hike. Come on 
up to the house and help me on my bobs. I got a new 
scheme for pivoting the back sled. . . . You just wait till 
to-night. I'm going to tell Gertie and Mister Howard 
Griffin just what I think of them for being such two-bit 
snobs. And your future ma-in-law. Gee ! I'm glad I 
don't have to be in love with anybody, and become a 
snob ! Come on." 

Out of this wholesome, democratic, and stuffy village 
life Carl suddenly stepped into the great world. A motor- 
car, the first he had ever seen, was drawn up before the 
Hennepin House. 

He stopped. His china-blue eyes widened. His 
shoulders shot forward to a rigid stoop of astonishment. 

38 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

His mouth opened. He gasped as they ran to join the 
gathering crowd. 

" A horseless carriage ! Do you get that ? There's 
one here \ " He touched the bonnet of the two-cylinder 
1901 car, and worshipped. " Under there the engine ! 
And there's where you steer. ... I will own one ! . . . 
Gee ! you're right, Fatty ; I believe I will go to college. 
And then I'll study mechanical engineering." 

" Thought you said you were going to try and go to 
Annapolis and be a sailor." 

" No. Rats ! I'm going to own a horseless carriage, 
and I'm going to tour every state in the Union. . . . 
Think of seeing mountains ! And the ocean ! And going 
twenty miles an hour, like a train ! " 



39 



CHAPTER IV 

WHILE Carl prepared for Gertie Cowles's party by 
pressing his trousers with his mother's flat-iron 
while he blacked his shoes and took his weekly sponge- 
bath, he was perturbed by partisanship with Eddie Klemm, 
and a longing for the world of motors, and some anxiety 
as to how he could dance at the party when he could not 
dance. 

He clumped up the new stone steps of the Cowles's house 
carelessly, not unusually shy, ready to tell Gertie what 
he thought of her treatment of Eddie. Then the front 
door opened and an agonized Carl was smothered in polite- 
ness. His second cousin, Lena, the Cowles's " hired 
girl/ 1 was opening the door, stiff and uncomfortable m a 
cap, a black dress, and a small frilly apron that dangled 
on her boniness like a lace kerchief pinned on a broom- 
handle. Murray Cowles rushed up. He was in evening 
clothes ! 

Behind Murray, Mrs. Cowles greeted Carl with thawed 
majesty : " We are so glad to have you, Carl. Won't 
you take your things off in the room at the head of the 
stairs ? " 

An affable introduction to Howard Griffin (also in 
evening clothes) was poured on Carl like soothing balm. 
Said Griffin : " Mighty glad to meet you, Ericson. Ray 
told me you'd make a ripping sprinter. The captain of 
the track team '11 be on the look-out for you when you 
get to Plato. Course you're going to go there. The 
U. of Minn, is too big. . . . You'll do something for old 
Plato. Wish I could. But all I can do is warble like a 
darn' dicky-bird. Have a cigarette ? . . . They're just 
starting to dance. Come on, old man. Come on, Ray." 

Carl was drawn downstairs and instantly precipitated 
into a dance regarding which he was sure only that it was 
either a waltz, a two-step, or something else. It filled 
with glamour the Cowles's library the only parlour in 
Joralemon that was called a library, and the only one with 
a fireplace or a polished hardwood floor. Grandeur was 

40 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

in the red curtains over the doors and windows ; the bead 
portiere ; a hand-painted coal-scuttle ; small, round 
paintings of flowers set in black velvet ; an enormous 
black-walnut bookcase with fully a hundred volumes ; 
and the two lamps of green-mottled shades and wrought- 
iron frames, set on imitation leather skins brought from 
New York by Gertie. The light was courtly on the polished 
floor. Adelaide Benner a new Adelaide, in chiffon over 
yellow satin, and patent-leather slippers grinned at him 
and ruthlessly towed him into the tide of dancers. In 
the spell of society no one seemed to remember Eddie 
Klemm. Adelaide did not mention the incident. 

Carl found himself bumping into others, continually 
apologizing to Adelaide and the rest and not caring. 
For he saw a vision ! Each time he turned toward the 
south end of the room he beheld Gertie Cowles glorified. 

She was out of ankle-length dresses ! She looked her 
impressive eighteen, in a foaming long white dress that 
showed her soft throat. A red rose was in her brown 
hair. She reclined in a big chair of leather and oak and 
smiled her gentlest, especially when Carl bobbed his head 
to her. 

He had always taken her as a matter of course ; she 
had no age, no sex, no wonder. That afternoon she had 
been a negligible bit of Joralemon, to be accused of snob- 
bery toward Eddie Klemm, and always to be watched 
suspiciously lest she " spring some New York airs on 
us." . . . Gertie had craftily seemed unchanged after her 
New York enlightenment till now here she was, suddenly 
grown-up and beautiful, haloed with a peculiar magic, 
which distinguished her from all the rest of the world. 

" She's the one that would ride in that horseless carriage 
when I got it ! " Carl exulted. " That must be a train, 
that thing she's got on." 

After the dance he disposed of Adelaide Benner as 
though she were only a sister. He hung over the back 
of Gertie's chair and urged : "I was awful sorry to hear 
you were sick. . . . Say, you look wonderful, to-night." 

" I'm so glad you could come to my party. Oh, I must 

41 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

speak to you about Do you suppose you would 

ever get very, very angry at poor me ? Me so bad some- 
times/' 

He cut an awkward little caper to show his aplomb, 
and assured her, " I guess probably I'll kill you some time, 
all right." 

" No, listen, Carl ; I'm dreadfully serious. I hope you 
didn't go and get dreadfully angry at me about Eddie 
Klemm. I know Eddie 's good friends with you. And I 
did want him to come to my party. But you see it was 
this way : Mr. Griffin is our guest (he likes you a lot, Carl. 
Isn't he a dandy fellow ? I guess Adelaide and Hazel 're 
just crazy about him. I think he's just as swell as the men 
in New York). Eddie and he didn't get along very well 
together. It isn't anybody's fault, I guess. I thought Eddie 
would be lots happier if he didn't come, don't you see ? " 

" Oh no, of course ; oh yes, I see. Sure. I can see 

how Say, Gertie, I never did know you could look 

so grown-up. I suppose now you'll never play with 
me." 

" I want you to be a good friend of mine always. We 
always have been awfully good friends, haven't we ? " 

" Yes. Do you remember how we ran away ? " 

" And how the Black Dutchman chassssed us ! " Her 
sweet and complacent voice was so cheerful that he lost 
his awe of her new magic and chortled : 

" And how we used to play pum-pum-pull-away." 

She delicately leaned her cheek on a finger-tip and 
sighed : " Yes, I wonder if we shall ever be so happy as 
when we were young. ... I don't believe you care to 
play with me so much now." 

" Oh, gee ! Gertie ! Like to ! " The shyness was 

on him again. " Say, are you feeling better now ? You're 
all over being sick ? " 

" Almost, now. I'll be back in school right after vaca- 
tion." 

" It's you that don't want to play, I guess. ... I 
can't get over that long white dress. It makes you look 

so oh, you know, so uh " 

42 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" They're going to dance again. I wish I felt able to 
dance." 

" Let me sit and talk to you, Gertie, instead of dancing." 

" I suppose you're dreadfully bored, though, when you 
could be down at the billiard-parlour ? " 

" Yes, I could ! Not ! Eddie Klemm and his fancy 
vest wouldn't have much chance, alongside of Griffin in 
his dress-suit ! Course I don't want to knock Eddie. 
Him and me are pretty good side-kicks " 

" Oh, no ; I understand. It's just that people have to 
go with their own class, don't you think ? " 

" Oh yes. Sure. I do think so, myself." Carl said 
it with a spurious society manner. In Gertie's aristocratic 
presence he desired to keep aloof from all vulgar persons. 

" Of course, I think we ought to make allowances for 
Eddie's father, Carl, but then " 

She sighed with the responsibilities of noblesse oblige ; 
and Carl gravely sighed with her. 

He brought a stool and sat at her feet. Immediately 
he was afraid that every one was watching him. Ray 
Cowles bawled to them, as he passed in the waltz, " Watch 
out for that Carl, Gert. He's a regular badix." 

Carl's scalp tickled, but he tried to be very off-hand in 
remarking : " You must have gotten that dress in New 
York, didn't you ? Why haven't you ever told me about 
New York ? You've hardly told me anything at all." 

" Well, I like that ! And you never been near me to 
give me a chance ! " 

" I guess I was kind of scared you wouldn't care much 
for Joralemon, after New York." 

" Why, Carl, you mustn't say that to me ! " 

" I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, Gertie, honestly 
I didn't. I was just joking. I didn't think you'd take 
me seriously." 

" As though I could forget my old friends, even in New 
York ! " 

" I didn't think that. Straight. Please tell me about 
New York. That's the place, all right. Jiminy ! wouldn't 
I like to go there ! " 

43 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I wish you could have been there, Carl. We had such 
fun in my school. There weren't any boys in it, but 

" No boys in it ? Why, how's that ? " 

" Why, it was just for girls/' 

" I see," he said, fatuously, completely satisfied. 

" We did have the best times, Carl. I must tell you 
about one awfully naughty thing Carrie she was my 
chum in school and 1 did. There was a stock company 
on Twenty-third Street, and we were all crazy about the 
actors, especially Clements Devereaux, and one after- 
noon Carrie told the principal she had a headache, and I 
asked if I could go home with her and read her the assign- 
ments for next day (they called the lessons ' assignments ' 
there), and they thought I was such a meek little country 
mouse that I wouldn't ever fib, and so they let us go, and 
what do you think we did ? She had tickets for ' The 
Two Orphans ' at the stock company. (You've never 
seen ' The Two Orphans,' have you ? It's perfectly 
splendid. I used to weep my eyes out over it.) And 
afterward we went and waited outside, right near the 
stage entrance, and what do you think ? The leading 
man, Clements Devereaux, went right by us as near as I 
am to you. Oh, Carl, I wish you could have seen him ! 
Maybe he wasn't the handsomest thing ! He had the 
blackest, curliest hair, and he wore a thumb ring." 

" I don't think much of all these hamfatters," growled 
Carl. " Actors always go broke and have to walk back 
to Chicago. Don't you think it 'd be better to be a civil 
engineer or something like that, instead of having to 
slick up your hair and carry a cane ? They're just dudes." 

" Why ! of course, Carl, you silly boy ! You don't sup- 
pose I'd take Clements seriously, do you ? You silly boy ! " 

" I'm not a boy." 

" I don't mean it that way." She sat up, touched his 
shoulder, and sank back. He blushed with bliss, and the 
fear that someone had seen, as she continued : " I always 
think of you as just as old as I am. We always will be, 
won't we ? " 

44 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Yes ! " 

" Now you must go and talk to Doris Carson. Poor 
thing, she always is a wallflower." 

However much he thought of common things as he 
left her, beyond those common things was the miracle 
that Gertie had grown into the one perfect, divinely 
ordained woman, and that he would talk to her again. 
He danced the Virginia reel. Instead of clumping sulkily 
through the steps, as at other parties, he heeded Adelaide 
Benner's lessons, and watched Gertie in the hope that 
she would see how well he was dancing. He shouted a 
demand that they play " Skip to Maloo," and cried down 
the shy girls who giggled that they were too old for the 
childish party-game. He howled, without prejudice in 
favour of any particular key, the ancient words : 

" Rats in the sugar-bowl, two by two, 
Bats in the belfry, two by two, 
Rats in the sugar-bowl, two by two, 
Skip to Maloo, my darling/' 

In the nonchalant company of the smarter young 
bachelors upstairs he smoked a cigarette. But he sneaked 
away. He paused at the bend in the stairs. Below 
him was Gertie, silver-gowned, wonderful. He wanted 
to go down to her. He would have given up his chance 
for a motor-car to be able to swagger down like an Eddie 
Klemm. For the Carl Ericson who sailed his ice-boat 
over inch-thick ice was timid now. He poked into the 
library, and in a nausea of discomfort he conversed with 
Mrs. Cowles, Mrs. Cowles doing the conversing. 

" Are you going to be a Republican or a Democrat, 
Carl ? " asked the forbidding lady. 

" Yessum," mumbled Carl, peering over at Gertie's 
throne, where Ben Rusk was being cultured. 

" I hope you are having a good time. We always 
wish our young friends to have an especially good time 
at Gertrude's parties," Mrs. Cowles sniffed, and bowed 
away. 

Carl sat beside Adelaide Benner in the decorous and 

45 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

giggling circle that ringed the room, waiting for the 
" refreshments. 11 He was healthily interested in devour- 
ing maple ice-cream and chocolate layer-cake. But all 
the while he was spying on the group gathering about 
Gertie Ben Rusk, Howard Griffin, and Joe Jordan. He 
took the most strategic precautions lest someone think 
that he wanted to look at Gertie ; made such ponderous 
efforts to prove he was care-free that every one knew 
something was the matter. 

Ben Rusk was taking no part in the gaiety of Howard 
and Joe. The serious man of letters was not easily led 
into paths of frivolity. Carl swore to himself : " Ben's 
the only guy I know that's got any delicate feelings. He 
appreciates how Gertie feels when she's sick, poor girl. 
He don't make a goat of himself, like Joe. ... Or maybe 
he's got a stomach-ache." 

" Post-office ! " cried Howard Griffin to the room at 
large. " Come on ! We're all of us going to be kids 
again, and play post-office. Who's the first girl wants 
to be kissed ? " 

" The idea ! " giggled Adelaide Benner. 

" Me for Adelaide ! " bawled Joe Jordan. 

" Oh, Jo-oe, bet I kiss Gertie ! " from Irving Lamb. 

" The idea ! " 

" Just as if we were children " 

" He must think we're kids again " 

" Shamey ! Winnie wants to be kissed, and Carl 
won't " 



" I don't, either, so there " 

" I think it's awful." 

" Bet I kiss Gertie " 

Carl was furious at all of them as they strained their 
shoulders forward from their chairs and laughed. He 
asked himself, " Haven't these galoots got any sense ? " 

To speak so lightly of kissing Gertie ! He stared at the 
smooth rounding of her left cheek below the cheek-bone 
till it took a separate identity, and its white softness filled 
the room. 

Ten minutes afterward, playing " post-office," he was 

46 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

facing Gertie in the semi-darkness of the sitting-room, 
authorized by the game to kiss her; shut in with his 
divinity. 

.She took his hand. Her voice was crooning, "Are 
you going to kiss me terribly hard ? " 

He tried to be gracefully mocking : " Oh yes ! Sure ! 
I'm going to eat you alive." 

She was waiting. 

He wished that she would not hold his hand. Within 
he groaned, " Gee whiz ! I feel foolish ! " He croaked : 
" Do you feel better, now ? You'll catch more cold in 
here, won't you ? There's kind of a draught. Lemme 
look at this window." 

Crossing to the obviously tight window, he ran his 
finger along the edge of the sash with infinite care. He 
trembled. In a second, now, he had to turn and make 
light of the lips which he would fain have approached 
with ceremony pompous and lingering. 

Gertie flopped into a chair, laughing : "I believe you're 
afraid to kiss me ! 'Fraid cat ! You'll never be a squire 
of dames, like those actors are ! All right for you ! " 

" I am not afraid ! " he piped. . . . Even his prized 
semi-bass voice had deserted him. . . . He rushed to 
the back of her chair and leaned over, confused, deter- 
mined. Hastily he kissed her. The kiss landed on the 
tip of her cold nose. 

And the whole party was tumbling in, crying : 

" Time's up ! You can't hug her all evening ! " 

" Did you see ? He kissed her on the nose ! " 

" Did he ? Ohhhhh ! " 

" Time's up. Can't try it again." 

Joe Jordan, in the van, was dancing fantastically, 
scraping his forefinger at Carl, in token of disgrace. 

The riotous crowd, Gertie and Carl among them, flooded 
out again. To show that he had not minded the incident 
of the misplaced kiss, Carl had to be very loud and merry 
in the library for a few minutes ; but when the game of 
" post-office " was over and Mrs. Cowles asked Ray to 
turn down the lamp in the sitting-room, Carl insisted : 

47 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I'll do it, Mrs. Cowles ; I'm nearer 'n Ray/ 1 anc 
bolted. 

He knew that he was wicked in not staying in the 
library and continuing his duties to the party. He hac 
to crowd into a minute all his agonizing and be back al 
once. 

It was beautiful in the stilly sitting-room, away frorr 
the noisy crowd, to hear love's heart beating. He dartec 
to the chair where Gertie had sat and guiltily kissed its 
arm. He tiptoed to the table, blew out the lamp, remem- 
bered that he should only have turned down the wick 
tried to raise the chimney, burnt his fingers, snatched his 
handkerchief, dropped it, groaned, picked up the handker- 
chief, raised the chimney, put it on the table, searchec 
his pockets for a match, found it, dropped it, picked ri 
up from the floor, dropped his knife from his pocket as he 
stooped, felt itchy about the scalp, picked up the knife 
relighted the lamp, exquisitely adjusted the chimney 
and again blew out the flame. And swore. 

As darkness whirled into the room again the vision oi 
Gertie came nearer. Then he understood his illness, and 
gasped : " Great jumping Jupiter on a high mountain 
I guess I'm in love ! Me / " 

The party was breaking up. Each boy, as he accom- 
panied a girl from the yellow lamplight into the below- 
zero cold, shouted and scuffled the snow, to indicate that 
there was nothing serious in his attentions, and immedi- 
ately tried to manoeuvre his girl away from the others. 
Mrs. Cowles was standing in the hall not hurrying the 
guests away, you understand, but perfectly resigned to 
accepting any farewells when Gertie, moving gently 
among them with little sounds of pleasure, penned Carl in a 
corner and demanded : 

" Are you going to see someone home ? I suppose 
you'll forget poor me completely now ! " 

" I will not ! " 

" I wanted to tell you what Ray and Mr. Griflin said 
about Plato and about being lawyers. Isn't it nice you'll 
know them when you go to Plato ? " 

48 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Yes, it'll be great." 

" Mr. Griffin's going to be a lawyer and maybe Ray 
will, too, and why don't you think about being one ? You 
can get to be a judge and know all the best people. 
It would be lovely. . . . Refining influences they 
that's " 

" I couldn't ever be a high-class lawyer like Griffin 
will," said Carl, his head on one side, much pleased. 

" You silly boy, of course you could. I think you've 
got just as much brains as he has, and Ray says they all 
look up to him even in Plato. And I don't see why Plato 
isn't just as good of course it isn't as large, but it's so 
select and the faculty can give you so much more individual 
attention, and I don't see why it isn't every bit as good 
as Yale and Michigan and all those Eastern colleges. . . . 
Howard Mr. Griffin he says that he wouldn't ever have 
thought of being a lawyer only a girl was such a good 
influence with him, and if you get to be a famous man, 
too, maybe I'll have been just a teeny-weeny bit of an 
influence, too, won't I ? " 

" Oh yes \ " 

" I must get back now and say good-bye to my guests. 
Good night, Carl." 

" I am going to study you just watch me ; and if I 

do get to go to Plato Oh, gee ! you always have 

been a good influence " He noticed that Doris Car- 
son was watching them. " Well, I gotta be going. I've 
had a peach of a time. Good night." 

Doris Carson was expectantly waiting for one of the 
boys to " see her home/' but Carl guiltily stole up to Ben 
Rusk and commanded : 

" Le's hike, Fatty. Le's take a walk. Something big 
to tell you." 



49 



CHAPTER V 

CARL kicked up the snow in moon-shot veils. The 
lake boomed. For all their woollen mittens, ribbed 
red-cotton wristlets, and plush caps with ear-laps, the cold 
seared them. Carl encouraged Ben to discourse of Gertie 
and the delights of a long and hopeless love. He disco verec 
that, actually, Ben had suddenly fallen in love with Adelaide 
Benner. " Gee ! " he exulted. " Maybe that gives me a 
chance with Gertie, then. But I won't let her know Ber 
ain't in love with her any more. Jimmy ! ain't it luck} 
Gertie liked me just when Ben fell in love with somebod} 
else 1 Funny the way things go ; and her never knowing 
about Ben." He laid down his cards. While they pi oughec 
through the hard snow-drifts, swinging their arms againsl 
their chests like milkmen, he blurted out all his secret 
that Gertie was the " slickest girl in town " ; that no one 
appreciated her. 

" Ho, ho 1 " jeered Ben. 

" I thought you were crazy about her, and then you star! 
kidding about her ! A swell bunch of chivalry you got 

you and your Galahad ! You " 

" Don't you go jumping on Galahad, or I'll fight ! " 
" He was all right, but you ain't," said Carl. " Yot 
hadn't ought to ever sneer at love/' 

" Why, you said, just this afternoon " 

" You poor yahoo, I was only teasing you. No ; aboul 
Gertie. It's like this : she was telling me a lot about hov 
Griffin's going to be a lawyer, about how much they mak< 
in cities, and I've about decided I'll be a lawyer." 

" Thought you were going to be a mechanical engineer ? ' 

" Well, can't a fellow change his mind ? When you'n 

an engineer you're always running around the country, anc 

you never get shaved or anything, and there ain't anj 

refining influences " 

The absorbing game of " what we're going to be " made 
them forget snow and cold-squeezed fingers. Ben, it wai 
decided, was to own a newspaper and support C. Ericson 
Attorney-at-Law, in his dramatic run for state senator. 

50 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl did not mention Gertie again. But it all meant 
Gertie. 

Carl made his round trimming the arc-lights next day, 
apparently a rudely healthy young person, but really a 
dreamer lovelorn and misunderstood. He had found a 
good excuse for calling on Gertie, at noon, and had been 
informed that Miss Gertrude was taking a nap. He 
determined to go up the lake for rabbits. He doubted if 
he would ever return, and wondered if he would be missed. 
Who would care if he froze to death ? He wouldn't ! 
(Though he did seem to be taking certain precautions, by 
donning a coat, two pairs of trousers, two pairs of woollen 
socks, and shoe-packs.) 

He was graceful as an Indian when he swept, on skis 
he had made himself, across miles of snow covering the 
lake and dazzling in the diffused light of an even grey sky. 
The reeds by the marshy shore were frost-glittering and 
clattered faintly. Marshy islands were lost in snow. 
Hummocks and ice-jams and the weaving patterns of mink 
tracks were blended in one white immensity, on which Carl 
was like a fly on a plaster ceiling. The world was deserted. 
But Carl was not lonely. He forgot all about Gertie as he 
hid his skis by the shore and prowled through the woods, 
leaping on brush-piles and shooting quickly when a rabbit 
ran out. 

When he had bagged three rabbits he was besieged by the 
melancholy of loneliness, the perfection of the silver-gowned 
Gertie. He wanted to talk. He thought of Bone Stillman. 

It was very likely that Bone was, as usual in winter, up 
beyond Big Bend, fishing for pickerel with tip-ups. A 
never-stopping dot in the dusk, Carl headed for Big Bend, 
three miles away. 

The tip-up fisher watches a dozen tip-ups short, 
automatic fishing-rods, with lines running through the ice, 
the pivoted arm signalling the presence of a fish at the bait. 
Sometimes, for warmth, he has a tiny shanty, perhaps five 
feet by six in ground area, heated by a powder-can stove. 
Bone Stillman often spent the night in his movable shanty 

51 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

on the lake, which added to his reputation as village eccen- 
tric. But he was more popular, now, with the local 
sporting gentlemen, who found that he played a divine 
game of poker. 

" Hello, son ! " he greeted Carl. " Come in. Leave 
them long legs of yours up on shore if there ain't room." 

" Say, Bone, do you think a fellow ever ought to join 
a church ? " 

" Depends. Why ? " 

" Well, suppose he was going to be a lawyer and go in 
for politics ? " 

" Look here. What 're you thinking of becoming a 
lawyer for ? " 

" Didn't say I was." 

" Of course you're thinking of it. Look here. Don't 
you know you've got a chance of seeing the world ? You're 
one of the lucky people that can have a touch of the wander- 
lust without being made useless by it as I have. You 
may, you may wander in thought as well as on freight- 
trains, and discover something for the world. Whereas 

a lawyer They're priests. They decide what's holy 

and punish you if you don't guess right. They set up 
codes that it takes lawyers to interpret, and so they per- 
petuate themselves. I don't mean to say you're extra- 
ordinary in having a chance to wander. Don't get the 
big-head over it. You're a pretty average young Ameri- 
can. There's plenty of the same kind. Only, mostly 
they get tied up to something before they see what a big 
world there is to hike in, and I want to keep you from that. 

I'm not roasting lawyers Yes, I am, too. They live 

in calf-bound books. Son, son, for God's sake live in life." 

" Yes, but look here, Bone ; I was just thinking about 
it, that's all. You're always drumming it into me about 
not taking anything for granted. Anyway, by the time 
I go to Plato I'll know " 

" D'you mean to say you're going to that back-creek 
tunnery ? That Blackhaw University ? Are you going 
on play checkers all through life ? " 

" Oh, I don't know, now, Bone. Plato ain't so bad. 

52 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

A fellow's got logo some place so he can mix with people 
that know what's the proper thing to do. Refining 
influences and like that." 

" Proper ! Refining ! Son, son, are you going to get 
Joralemonized ? If you want what the French folks 
call the grand manner, if you're going to be a tip-top, 
A Number i, genuwine grand senyor, or however they 
pronounce it, why, all right, go to it ; that's one way of 
playing a big game. But when it comes down to a short- 
bit, fresh-water sewing-circle like Plato College, where an 
imitation scholar teaches you imitation translations of 
useless classics, and amble-footed girls teach you imitation 
party manners that 'd make you just as plumb ridic'lous 

in a real salon as they would in a lumber-camp, why 

Oh, sa-a-a-y ! I've got it. Girls, eh ? What girl 've you 
been falling m love with to get this Plato idea from, eh ? " 

" Aw, I ain't in love, Bone." 

" No, I don't opine you are. At your age you got 
about as much chance of being in love as you have of 
being a grandfather. But somehow I seem to have a 
little old suspicion that you think you're in love. But 
it's none of my business, and I ain't going to ask ques- 
tions about it." He patted Carl on the shoulder, moving 
his arm with difficulty in their small, dark space. " Son, 
I've learned this in my life and I've done quite some hiking 
at that, even if I didn't have the book-rarnin' and the 
git-up-and-git to make anything out of my experience. 
It's a thing I ain't big enough to follow up, but I know it's 
there. Life is just a little old checker game played by the 
alfalfa contingent at the country -store unless you've got 
an ambition that's too big to ever quite lasso it. You 
want to know that there's something ahead that's bigger 
and more beautiful than anything you've ever seen, and 
never stop till well, till you can't follow the road any 
more. And anything or anybody that doesn't pack any 
surprises get that ? surprises for you, is dead, and 
you want to slough it like a snake does its skin. You 
want to keep on remembering that Chicago's beyond 
Joralemon, and Paris beyond Chicago, and beyond Paris 

53 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

well, maybe there's some big peak of the Himalayas/' 
For hours they talked, Bone desperately striving to 
make his dreams articulate to Carl and to himself. They 
ate fish fried on the powder-can stove, with half-warm 
coffee. They walked a few steps outside the shack in 
the ringing cold, to stretch stiff legs. Carl saw a world 
of unuttered freedom and beauty forthshadowed in Bone's 
cloudy speech. But he was melancholy. For he was going 
to give up his citizenship in wonderland for Gertie Cowles. 

Gertie continued to enjoy ill-health for another week. 
Every evening Carl walked past her house, hoping that he 
might see her at a window, longing to dare to call. Each 
night he pictured rescuing her from things rescuing 
her from fire, from drowning, from evil men. He felt 
himself the more bound to her by the social recognition 
of having his name in thejoralemon Dynamite, the following 
Thursday : 

"One of the pleasantest affairs of the holiday season 
among the younger set was held last Friday evening, 
when Gertrude Cowles entertained a number of her young 
friends at a party at her mother's handsome residence on 
Maple Hill. Among those present were Mesdames Benner 
and Rusk, who came in for a brief time to assist in the 
jollities of the evening, Misses Benner, Carson, Wesselius, 
Madlund, Ripka, Smith, Lansing, and Brick ; and Messrs. 
Ray Cowles, his friend Howard Griffin, who is spending 
his vacation here from Plato College, Carl Ericson, Joseph 
Jordan, Irving Lamb, Benjamin Rusk, Nels Thorsten, 
Peter Schoenhof, and William T. Upham. After dancing 
and games, which were thoroughly enjoyed by all present, 
and a social hour spent in discussing the events of the 
season in J.H.S., a most delicious repast was served 
and the party adjourned, one and all voting that they had 
been royally entertained." 

The glory was the greater because at least seven names 
had been omitted from the list of guests. Such social 
recognition satisfied Carl for half an hour. Possibly 
it nerved him finally to call on Gertie. 

54 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Since for a week he had been dreading a chilly recep- 
tion when he should call, he was immeasurably surprised 
when he did call and got what he expected. He had not 
expected the fates to be so treacherous as to treat him 
as he expected, after he had disarmed them by expecting it. 

When he rang the bell he was an immensely grown-up 
lawyer (though he couldn't get his worn, navy-blue tie 
to hang exactly right). He turned into a crestfallen youth 
as Mrs. Cowles opened the door and waited waited ! 
for him to speak, after a crisp : 

" Well ? What is it, Carl ? " 

" Why, uh, I just thought I'd come and see how Gertie is." 

" Gertrude is much better, thank you. I presume she 
will return to school at the end of vacation. 11 

The hall behind Mrs. Cowles seemed very stately, very 
long. 

"I've heard a lot saying they hoped she was better. 1 ' 

" You may tell them that she is better." 

Mrs. Cowles shivered. No one could possibly have 
looked more like a person closing a door without actually 
closing one. " Lena ! " she shrieked, " close the kitchen 
door. There's a draught." She turned back to Carl. 

The shy lover vanished. An angry young man chal- 
lenged, " If Gertie's up I think I'll come in a few minutes 
and see her." 

" Why, uh " hesitated Mrs. Cowles. 

He merely walked in past her. His anger kept its own 
council, for he could depend upon Gertie's warm greet- 
ing lonely Gertie, he would bring her the cheer of the 
great open. 

The piano sounded in the library, and the voice of the 
one perfect girl mingled with a man's tenor in " Old Black 
Joe." Carl stalked into the library. Gertie was there, 
much corseted, well powdered, wearing a blue foulard 
frenziedly dotted with white, and being cultured in com- 
pany with Dr. Doyle, the lively young dentist who had 
recently taken an office in the National Bank Block. He 
was a graduate of the University of Minnesota dental 
department. He had oily black hair, and smiled with 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

gold-filled teeth before one came to the real point of a 
joke. He sang in the Congregational church choir, and 
played tennis in a crimson-and-black blazer the only 
one in Joralemon. 

To Carl, Dr. Doyle was dismayingly mature and smart. 
He horribly feared him as a rival. For the second time 
that evening he did not balk fate by fearing it. The 
dentist was a rival. After fluttering about the mature 
charms of Miss Dietz, the school drawing-teacher, and 
taking a tentative buggy-ride or two with the millers 
daughter, Dr. Doyle was bringing all the charm of his 
professional position and professional teeth and patent- 
leather shoes to bear upon Gertie. 

And Gertie was interested. Obviously. She was all 
of eighteen to-night. She frowned slightly as she turned 
on the piano-stool at Carl's entrance, and mechanically : 
" This is a pleasant surprise/' Then, enthusiastically : 
" Isn't it too bad that Dr. Doyle was out of town, or I 
would have invited him to my party, and he would have 
given us some of his lovely songs. . . . Do try the second 
verse, doctor. The harmony is so lovely." 

Carl sat at the other end of the library from Gertie 
and the piano, while Mrs. Cowles entertained him. He 
obediently said " Yessum " and " No, 'm " to the observa- 
tions which she offered from the fullness of her lack of 
experience of life. He sat straight and still. Behind his 
fixed smile he was simultaneously longing to break into 
the musical fiesta, and envying the dentist's ability to 
get married without having to wait to grow up, and trying 
to follow what Mrs. Cowles was saying. 

She droned, while crocheting with high-minded industry 
a useless piano-scarf, " Do you still go hunting, Carl ? " 

" Yessum. Quite a little rabbit-hunting. Oh, not 
very much." 

(At the distant piano, across the shining acres of floor, 
the mystical woman and a dentist had ceased singing, 
and were examining a fresh sheet of music. The dentist 
coyly poked his finger at her coiffure, and she slapped the 
finger, gurgling.) 

56 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I hope you don't neglect your school work, though, 
Carl. Mrs. Cowles held the scarf nearer the lamp and 
squinted at it, deliberately and solemnly, through the 
eyeglasses that lorded it atop her severe nose. A headachy 
scent of moth-balls was in the dull air. She forbiddingly 
moved the shade of the lamp about a tenth of an inch. 
She removed some non-existent dust from the wrought- 
iron standard. Her gestures said that the lamp was 
decidedly more chic than the pink-shaded hanging lamps, 
raised and lowered on squeaking chains, which character- 
ized most Joralemon living-rooms. She glanced at the 
red curtain over the nearest window. The moth-ball 
smell grew more stupefying. 

Carl felt stuffy in the top of his nose as he mumbled, 
" Oh, I work pretty hard at chemistry, but, gee ! I can't 
see much to all this Latin." 

" When you're a little older, Carl, you'll learn that the 
things you like now aren't necessarily the things that are 
good for you. I used to say to Gertrude of course she 
is older than you, but she hasn't been a young lady for 
so very long, even yet and I used to say to her, ' Ger- 
trude, you will do exactly what I tell you to, and not what 
you want to do, and we shall make no more words 
about it ! ' And I think she sees now that her mother was 
right about some things ! Dr. Doyle said to me, and of 
course you know, Carl, that he's a very fine scholar 
our pastor told me that the doctor reads French better 
than he does, and the doctor's told me some things about 
modern French authors that I didn't know, and I used to 
read French almost as well as English, when I was a girl, 
my teachers all told me and he says that he thinks that 
Gertrude has a very fine mind, and he was so glad that 
she hasn't been taken in by all this wicked, hysterical 
way girls have to-day of thinking they know more than 
their mothers." 

" Yes, she is Gertie is I think she's got a very 

fine mind," Carl commented. 

(From the other end of the room Gertie could be over- 
heard confiding to the dentist in tones of hushed and 

57 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

delicious adult scandal, " They say that when she was 
in St. Paul she ") 

" So," Mrs. Cowles serenely sniffed on, while the bridge 
of Carl's nose felt broader and broader, stretching wider 
and wider, as that stuffy feeling increased and the inten- 
sive heat stung his eyelids, " you see you mustn't think 
because you'd rather play around with the boys than 
study Latin, Carl, that's it's the fault of your Latin- 
teacher." She nodded at him with a condescending smile 
that was infinitely insulting. 

He knew it and resented it, but he did not resent it 
actively, for he was busy marvelling, " How the dickens is 
it I never heard Doc Doyle was stuck on Gertie ? Every- 
body thought he was going with Bertha. Dang him, 
anyway ! The way he snickers, you'd think she was 
his best girl." 

Mrs. Cowles was loftily pursuing her pillared way : 
" Latin was known to be the best study for developing the 
mind a long, long time " And her clicking crochet- 
needles impishly echoed, " A long, long time," and the 
odour of moth-balls got down into Carl's throat, while 
in the golden Olympian atmosphere at the other end of 
the room Gertie coyly pretended to slap the dentist's 
hand with a series of tittering taps. " A long, long time 
before either you or I were born, Carl, and we can't very 
well set ourselves up to be wiser than the wisest men that 
ever lived, now can we ? " Again the patronizing smile. 
" That would scarcely " 

Carl resolved : " This 's got to stop. I got to do some- 
thing." He felt her monologue as a blank steel wall 
which he could not pierce. Aloud : " Yes, that's so, I 
guess. Say, that's a fine dress Gertie's got on to-night, 
ain't it. ... Say, I been learning to play crokinole at 
Ben Rusk's. You got a board, haven't you ? Would 
you like to play ? Does the doctor play ? " 

" Indeed, I haven't the slightest idea, but I have very 
little doubt that he does he plays tennis so beautifully. 
He is going to teach Gertrude, in the spring." She stopped, 
and again held the scarf up to the light. " I am so glad 

58 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

that my girly, that was so naughty once and ran away 
with you I don't think I shall ever get over the awful fright 
I had that night ! I am so glad that, now she is grow- 
ing up, clever people like Dr. Doyle appreciate her so 
much, so very much." 

She dropped her crochet to her lap and stared squarely 
at Carl. Her warning that he would do exceedingly 
well to go home was more than plain. He stared back, 
agitated but not surrendering. Deliberately, almost 
suavely, with ten years of experience added to the sixteen 
years that he had brought into the room, he said : 

" I'll see if they'd like to play." He sauntered to the 
other end of the room, abashed before the mystic woman, 
and ventured : "I saw Ray, to-day. ... I got to be 
going, pretty quick, but I was wondering if you two felt 
like playing some crokinole ? " 

Gertie said, slowly : " I'd like to, Carl, but Unless 

you'd like to play, doctor ? " 

" Why, of course it's comme ilfaut to play, Miss Cowles, 
but I was just hoping to have the pleasure of hearing you 
make some more of your delectable music," bowed the 
dentist, and Gertie bowed back ; and their smiles joined 
in a glittery bridge of social aplomb. 

" Oh yes," from Carl, " that yes, do But you 

hadn't ought to play too much if you haven't been well." 

" Oh, Carl ! " shrieked Gertie. " ' Ought not to/ 
not 'hadn't ought to ' ! " 

" ' Ought not to/ " repeated Mrs. Cowles icily, while 
the dentist waved his hand in an amused manner and 
contributed : 

" Ought not to say ' hadn't ought to/ as my preceptor 
used to tell me. . . . I'd like to hear you sing Longfellow's 
' Psalm of Life/ Miss Cowles." 

" Don't you think Longfellow's a rotten pote ? " growled 
Carl. " Bone Stillman says Longfellow's the grind- 
organ of poetry. Like this : ' Life is re-al, life is ear-nest, 
turn te diddle dydle dum ! ' " 

" Carl," ordered Mrs. Cowles, " you will please to never 
mention that Stillman person in my house I " 

59 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Oh, Carl ! " rebuked Gertie. She rose from the 
piano-stool. Her essence of virginal femininity, its pure 
and cloistered and white-camisoled odour, bespelled 
Carl to fainting timidity. And while he was thus defence- 
less the dentist thrust : 

" Why, they tell me Stillman doesn't even believe the 
Bible ! " 

Carl was not to retrieve his credit with Gertie, but 
he couldn't betray Bone Stillman. Hastily : " Yes, 

maybe, that way Oh, say, doctor, Pete Jordan was 

telling me " (liar !) " that you were one of the best tennis- 
players at the U." 

Gertie "sat down again. 

The dentist coyly fluffed his hair and deprecated, 
" Oh no, I wouldn't say that ! " 

Carl had won. Instantly they three became a country 
club of urban aristocrats, who laughed at the poor rustics 
of Joralemon for knowing nothing of golf and polo. Carl 
was winning their tolerance though not their close 
attention by relating certain interesting facts from the 
inside pages of the local paper as to how far the tennis- 
rackets sold in one year would extend, if laid end to end, 
when he saw Gertie and her mother glance at the hall. 
Gertie giggled. Mrs. Cowles frowned. He followed their 
glance. 

Clumping through the hall was his second cousin, 
Lena, the Cowles's " hired girl/' Lena nodded and said, 
" Hallo, Carl ! " 

Gertie and the dentist raised their eyebrows at each 
other. 

Carl talked for two minutes about something, he did 
not know what, and took his leave. In the intensity of 
his effort to be resentfully dignified he stumbled over 
the hall hat-rack. He heard Gertie yelp with laughter. 

" I got to go to college be worthy of her ! " he groaned, 
all the way home. " And I can't afford to go to the U. 
of M. I'd like to be free, like Bone says, but I've got 
to go to Plato." 

60 



CHAPTER VI 

PLATO COLLEGE, Minnesota, is as earnest and 
undistinguished, as provmcially dull and pathetically 
human, as a spinster missionary. Its two hundred or 
two hundred and fifty students come from the furrows, 
asking for spiritual bread, and are given a Greek root. 
Red-brick buildings, designed by the architect of county 
jails, are grouped about that high, bare, cupola-crowned 
grey-stone barracks, the Academic Building, like red and 
faded blossoms about a tombstone. In the air is the 
scent of crab-apples and meadowy prairies, for a time, 
but soon settles down a winter bitter as the learning of 
the Rev. S. Alcott Wood, D.D., the president. The 
town and college of Plato disturb the expanse of prairie 
scarce more than a group of haystacks. In winter the 
walks blur into the general whiteness, and the trees shrink 
to chilly skeletons, and the college is like five blocks set 
on a frozen bed-sheet no shelter for the warm and timid 
soul, yet no windy peak for the bold. The snow wipes 
out all the summer-time individuality of place, and the 
halls are lonelier at dusk than the prairie itself far lonelier 
than the yellow-lighted jerry-built shops in the town. 
The students never lose, for good or bad, their touch 
with the fields.. From droning class-rooms the victims of 
education see the rippling wheat in summer ; and in 
winter the impenetrable wall of sky. Footsteps and quick 
laughter of men and girls, furtively flirting along the 
brick walls under the beautiful maples, do make Plato 
dear to remember. They do not make it brilliant. They 
do not explain the advantages of leaving the farm for 
another farm. 

To the freshman, Carl Ericson, descending from the 
dusty smoking-car of the M. & D., in company with 
tumultuous youths in pin-head caps and enormous sweaters, 
the town of Plato was metropolitan. As he walked 
humbly up Main Street and beheld two four-story build- 
ings and a marble bank and an interurban trolley-car, 
he had, at last, an idea of what Minneapolis and Chicago 

61 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

must be. Two men in sweaters adorned with a large 
" P," athletes, generals, heroes, walked the streets in the 
flesh, and he saw it really was there, for him ! the 
" College Book Store," whose windows were filled with 
leather-backed treatises on Greek, logic, and trigonometry ; 
and, finally, he was gaping through a sandstone gateway 
at four buildings, each of them nearly as big as the Jorale- 
mon High School, surrounding a vast stone castle. 

He entered the campus. He passed an old man with 
white side-whiskers and a cord on his gold-rimmed eye- 
glasses ; an aged old man who might easily be a prc- 
fessor. A blithe student, with " Y.M.C.A. Receptn. Com." 
large on his hat-band, rushed up to Carl, shook his 
hand busily, and inquired : 

" Freshman, old man ? Got your room yet ? There's 
a list of rooming-houses over at the Y.M. Come on, 
I'll show you the way." 

He was received in Academe, in Arcadia, in Elysium ; 
in fact, in Plato College. 

He was directed to a large but decomposing house 
conducted by the widow of a college janitor, and advised 
to take a room at $1.75 a week for his share of the rent. 
That implied taking with the room a large, solemn man, 
fresh from teaching in a country school, a heavy, slow- 
spoken, serious man of thirty-one, named Albert Smith, 
registered as A. Smith, and usually known as " Plain 
Smith." Plain Smith sat studying in his cotton socks, 
and never emptied the wash-basin. He remarked, during 
the first hour of their discourse in the groves of Academe : 
" I hope you ain't going to bother me by singing and 
skylarking around. I'm here to work, boy." Smith 
then returned to the large books which he was diligently 
scanning that he might find wisdom, while Carl sniffed at 
the brown-blotched wall-paper, the faded grass matting, 
the shallow, standing wardrobe. . . . He liked the house, 
however. It had a real bathroom ! He could, for the 
first time in his life, splash in a tub. Perhaps it would 
not be regarded as modern to-day ; perhaps effete souls 
would disdain its honest tin tub, smeared with a paint 

62 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

that peeled instantly ; but it was elegance and the Hes- 
perides compared with the sponge and two lard-pails of 
hot water from the Ericson kitchen reservoir, which had 
for years been his conception of luxurious means of bathing. 

Also, there were choicer spirits in the house. One man, 
who pressed clothes for a living and carried a large line 
of cigarettes in his room, was second vice-president of 
the sophomore class. As smoking was dourly forbidden 
to all Platonians, the sophomore's room was a refuge. 
The sophomore encouraged Carl in his natural talent for 
cheerful noises, while Plain Smith objected even to sing- 
ing while one dressed. 

Like four of his fellows, Carl became a waiter at Mrs. 
Henkel's student boarding-house, for his board and two 
dollars a week. The two dollars constituted his pin- 
money a really considerable sum for Plato, where the 
young men were pure and smoked not, neither did they 
drink ; where evening clothes were snobbish and sweaters 
thought rather well of ; where the only theatrical attrac- 
tions were week-stand melodramas playing such attrac- 
tions as " Poor but True/ 1 or the Rev. Sam J. Pitkin's 
celebrated lecture on " The Father of Lies/' annually 
delivered at the I.O.O.F. Hall. 

Carl's father assured him in every letter that he was 
extravagant. He ran through the two dollars in practi- 
cally no time at all. He was a member in good and 
regular standing of the informal club that hung about the 
Corner Drug Store, to drink coffee soda and discuss athletics 
and stare at the passing girls. He loved to set off his 
clear skin and shining pale hair with linen collars, though 
soft roll-collar shirts were in vogue. And he was ready 
for any wild expedition, though it should cost fifty or 
sixty cents. With the sophomore second vice-president 
and John Terry of the freshman class (usually known as 
" the Turk ") he often tramped to the large neighbouring 
town of Jamaica Mills to play pool, smoke Turkish cigar- 
ettes, and drink beer. They always chorused Plato 
songs, in long-drawn close harmony. Once they had 
imported English ale, out of bottles, and carried the 

63 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

bottles back to decorate and distinguish their rooms. 

Carl's work at the boarding-house introduced him to 
pretty girl students, and cost him no social discredit 
whatever. The little college had the virtue of genuine 
democracy so completely that it never prided itself on 
being democratic. Mrs. Henkel, prop.ietor of the board- 
ing-house, occasionally grew sarcastic to her student 
waiters as she stooped, red-faced and loosened of hair, 
over the range ; she did suggest that they " kindly wash 
up a few of the dishes now and then before they went 
gallivantin 1 off." But songs arose from the freshmen 
washing and wiping dishes ; they chucklmgly rehashed 
jokes ; they discussed the value of the " classical course " 
versus the " scientific course." While they waited at 
table they shared the laughter and arguments that ran 
from student to student through Mrs. Henkel's dining- 
room a sunny room bedecked with a canary, a pussy- 
cat, a gilded rope porti&re, a comfortable rocker with a 
Plato cushion, a Garland stove with nickel ornaments, two 
geraniums, and an oak-framed photograph of the champion 
Plato football team of 1899. 

Carl was readily accepted by the men and girls who 
gathered about the piano in the evening. His graceful- 
seeming body, his puppyish awkwardness, his quietly 
belligerent dignity, his eternal quest of new things, won 
him respect ; though he was too boyish to rouse admira- 
tion, except in the breast of fat, pretty, cheerful, fuzzy- 
haired, candy-eating Mae Thurston. Mae so influenced 
Carl that he learned to jest casually ; and he practised 
a new dance, called the " Boston/' which Mae had brought 
from Minneapolis, though as a rival to the waltz and two- 
step the new dance was ridiculed by every one. He 
mastered all the savoir-faire of the boarding-house. But 
he was always hurrying away from it to practise football, 
to prowl about the Plato power-house, to skim through 
magazines in the Y.M.C.A. reading-room, even to study. 
Beyond the dish-washing and furnace-tending set he 
had no probable social future, though everybody knew 
everybody at Plato. Those immaculate upper-classmen, 

64 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Murray Cowles and Howard Griffin, never invited him 
to their room (in a house on Elm Street with a screened 
porch and piano sounds). He missed Ben Rusk, who had 
gone to Oberlin College, and Joe Jordan, who had gone 
to work for the Joralemon Speciality Manufacturing 
Company. 

Life at Plato was suspicious, prejudiced, provincial, as 
it affected the ambitious students ; and for the weaker 
brethren it was philandering and vague. The class 
work was largely pure rot arbitrary mathematics, anti- 
quated botany, hesitating German, and a veritable mili- 
tary drill in the conjugation of Greek verbs conducted by 
a man with a non-com, soul, a pompous, sandy- whiskered 
manikin with cold eyes and a perpetual cold in the nose, 
who had inflicted upon a patient world the four-millionth 
commentary on Xenophon. Few of the students realized 
the futility of it all ; certainly not Carl, who slept well 
and believed in football. 

The life habit justifies itself. One comes to take any- 
thing as a matter of course ; to take one's neighbours 
seriously, whether one lives in Plato or Persia, in Mrs. 
Henkel's kitchen or a fo'c'sle. The Platonians raced 
toward their various goals of high-school teaching, or 
law, or marriage, or permanently escaping their parents ; 
they made love, and were lazy, and ate, and swore off bad 
habits, and had religious emotions, all quite naturally ; 
they were not much bored, rarely exhilarated, always 
ready to gossip about their acquaintances ; precisely like 
a duke or a delicatessen-keeper. They played out their 
game. But it was so tiny a game, so played to the exclu- 
sion of all other games, that it tended to dwarf its victims 
and the restless children, such as Carl, instinctively 
resent this dwarfing. They seek to associate them- 
selves with other rebels. Carl's unconscious rebel band 
was the group of rowdyish freshmen who called them- 
selves " the Gang," and loafed about the room of their 
unofficial captain, John Terry, nicknamed " the Turk," 
a swarthy, large-featured youth with a loud laugh, a 
habit of slapping people upon the shoulder, an ingenious 

65 E 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

mind for devilry, and considerable promise as a foot- 
baller. 

Most small local colleges, and many good ones, have 
their " gangs " of boys, who presumably become honour- 
able men and fathers, yet who in college days regard it as 
heroic to sneak out and break things, and as humorous 
to lead countryside girls astray in sordid amours. The 
more cloistered the seat of learning, the more vicious 
are the active boys, to keep up with the swiftness of life 
forces. The Turk's gang painted the statues of the 
Memorial Arch ; they stole signs ; they were the creators 
of noises unexpected and intolerable, during small, quiet 
hours of moonlight. 

As the silkworm draws its exquisite stuff from dowdy 
leaves, so youth finds beauty and mystery in stupid days. 
Carl went out unreservedly to practise with the foot- 
ball squad ; he had a joy of martyrdom in tackling the 
dummy and peeling his nose on the frozen ground. He 
knew a sacred aspiration when Mr. Bjorken, the coach, a 
former University of Minnesota star, told him that he 
might actually " make " the team in a year or two ; that 
he had twice as much chance as Ray Cowles, who while 
Carl was thinking only of helping the team to win was 
too engrossed in his own dignity as a high-school notable 
to get into the scrimmage. 

At the games, among the Gang, Carl went mad with 
fervour. He believed that he was saving his country every 
time he yelled in obedience to the St. Vitus gestures of the 
cheer-leader, or sang " On the Goal-line of Plato " to the 
tune of "On the Sidewalks of New York/' Tears of a 
real patriotism came when, at the critical moment of a 
losing game against the Minnesota Military Institute, 
with sunset forlorn behind bare trees, the veteran cheer- 
leader flung the hoarse Plato rooters into another defiant 
yell. It was the never-say-die of men who rose, with 
clenched hands and arms outstretched, to the despairing 
need of their college, and then Lord ! They hurled up 
to their feet in frenzy as Pete Madlund got away with the 
ball for a long run and victory. . . . The next week, when 

66 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the University of Keokuk whipped them, 40 to 10, Carl 
stood weeping and cheering the defeated Plato team till 
his throat burned. 

He loved the laughter of the Turk, Mae Thurston's 
welcome, experiments in the physics laboratory. And 
he was sure that he was progressing toward the state of 
grace in which he might aspire to marry Gertie Cowles. 

He did not think of her every day, but she was always 
somewhere in his thoughts, and the heroines of magazine 
stories recalled some of her virtues to his mind, invari- 
ably. The dentist who had loved her had moved away. 
She was bored. She occasionally wrote to Carl. But 
she was still superior tried to " influence him for good " 
and advised him to " cultivate nice people." 

He was convinced that he was going to become a lawyer, 
for her sake, but he knew that some day he would be 
tempted by the desire to become a civil or a mechanical 
engineer. 

A January thaw. Carl was tramping miles out into 
the hilly country north of Plato. He hadn't been able 
to persuade any of the Gang to leave their smoky loafing- 
place in the Turk's room, but his own lungs demanded 
the open. With his heavy boots swashing through icy 
pools, calling to an imaginary dog and victoriously run- 
ning Olympic races before millions of spectators, he defied 
the chill of the day and reached Hiawatha Mound, a 
hill eight miles north of Plato. 

Toward the top a man was to be seen crouched in a 
pebbly, sunny arroyo, peering across the bleak prairie, 
a lone watcher. Ascending, Carl saw that it was Eugene 
Field Linderbeck, a Plato freshman. That amused 
him. He grinningly planned a conversation. Every 
one said that " Genie Linderbeck was queer/' A preco- 
cious boy of fifteen, yet the head of his class in scholar- 
ship ; reported to be interested in Greek books quite 
outside of the course, fond of drinking tea, and devoid 
of merit in the three manly arts athletics, flirting, and 
breaking rules by smoking. Genie was small, anaemic, 

67 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and too well dressed. He stuttered slightly and was 
always peering doubtfully at you with large and childish 
eyes that were made more eerie by his pale, bulbous 
forehead and the penthouse of tangled mouse-brown hair 
over it. ... The Gang often stopped him on the campus 
to ask mock-polite questions about his ambition, which 
was to be a teacher of English at Harvard or Yale. Not 
very consistently, but without ever wearying of the 
jest, they shadowed him to find out if he did not write 
poetry ; and while no one had actually caught him, he 
was still suspect. 

Genie said nothing when Carl called, " H'lo, son ! " 
and sat on a neighbouring rock. 

" What's trouble, Genie ? You look worried." 

" Why don't any of you fellows like me ? " 

Carl felt like a bug inspected by a German professor. 
" W-why, how d'you mean, Genie ? " 

" None of you take me seriously. You simply let 
me hang around. And you think I'm a grind. I'm 
not. I like to read, that's all. Perhaps you think I 
shouldn't like to go out for athletics if I could ! I wish 
I could run the way you can, Ericson. Darn it ! I 
was happy out here by myself on the Mound, where every 
prospect pleases, and V now here I am again, envying 
you." 

" Why, son, I I guess I guess we admire you a 
whole lot more than we let on to. Cheer up, old man ! 
When you're valedictorian and on the debating team 
and wallop Hamlin you'll laugh at the Gang, and we'll 
be proud to write home we know you/ 1 Carl was hating 
himself for ever having teased Genie Linderbeck. " You've 
helped me a thundering lot whenever I've asked you 
about that blame Greek syntax. I guess we're jealous 
of you. You uh you don't want to let 'em kid you " 

Carl was embarrassed before Genie's steady, youthful, 
trusting gaze. He stooped for a handful of pebbles, 
with which he pelted the landscape, maundering, " Say, 
why don't you come around to the Turk's room and 
get better acquainted with the Gang ? " 

68 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" When shall I come ? " 

" When ? Oh, why, thunder ! you know, Genie 
just drop in any time." 

" I'll be glad to." 

Carl was perspiring at the thought of what the Gang 
would do to him when they discovered that he had invited 
Genie. But he was game. " Come up to my room 
whenever you can, and help me with my boning," he 
added. " You mustn't ever get the idea that we're 
conferring any blooming favour by having you around. 
It's you that help us. Our necks are pretty well sand- 
papered, I'm afraid. . . . Come up to my room any 
time. . . . I'll have to be hiking on if I'm going to get 
much of a walk. Come over and see me to-night." 

" I wish you'd come up to Mr. Frazer's with me some 
Sunday afternoon for tea, Ericson." 

Henry Frazer, M.A. (Yale), associate professor of 
English literature, was a college mystery. He was a 
thin-haired young man, with a consuming love of his 
work, which was the saving of souls by teaching Lycidas 
and Comus. This was his first year out of graduate school, 
his first year at Plato and possibly his last. It was 
whispered about that he believed in socialism, and the 
president, the Rev. Dr. S. Alcott Wood, had no patience 
with such silly fads. 

Carl marvelled, " Do you go to Frazer's ? " 

" Why, yes ! " 

" Thought everybody was down on him. They say 
he's an anarchist, and I know he gives fierce assignments 
in English lit. ; that's what all the fellows in his classes 
say." 

" All the fools are down on him. That's why I go to 
his house." 

" Don't the fellows uh kind of " 

" Yes," piped Genie in his most childish tone of anger, 
his tendency to stammer betraying him, " they k-kid 
me for liking Frazer. He's he's the only te-teacher 
here that isn't p-p-p " 

" Spit ! " 

69 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" provincial ! " 

" What d'you mean by ' provincial ' ? " 

" Narrow. Villagey. Do you know what Bernard 
Shaw says ? " 

" Never read a word of him, my son. And let me 
tell you that my idea of no kind of conversation is to 
have a guy spring ' Have you read ? ' on me every few 
seconds, and me coming back with : ' No, I haven't. 
Ain't it interesting ! ' If that's the brand of converse 
at Prof. Frazer's you can count me out." 

Genie laughed. " Think how much more novelty you 
get out of roasting me like that than telling Terry he's 
got ' bats in his belfry ' ten or twelve times a day." 

" All right, my son ; you win. Maybe I'll go to Frazer's 
with you. Sometime." 

The Sunday following Carl went to tea at Professor 
Henry Frazer's. 

The house was Platonian without, plain and dumpy, 
with gingerbread Gothic on the porch, blistered paint, 
and the general lines of a prairie barn, but the living- 
room was more nearly beautiful than any room Carl had 
seen. In accordance with the ideal of that era it had 
Mission furniture with large leather cushions, brown wood- 
work, and tan oatmeal paper scattered with German 
colour prints, instead of the patent rockers and carbon 
prints of Roman monuments which adorned the houses 
of the other professors. While waiting with Genie Linder- 
beck for the Frazers to come down, Carl found in a rack 
on the oak table such books as he had never seen : exqui- 
site books from England, bound in terra-cotta and olive- 
green cloth with intricate gold designs, heavy-looking, 
but astonishingly light to the hand ; books about Celtic 
legends and Provencal jongleurs, and Japanese prints 
and other matters of which he had never heard ; so 
different from the stained textbooks and the shallow 
novels by brisk ladies which had constituted his experi- 
ences of literature that he suddenly believed in culture. 

Professor Frazer appeared, walking into the room after 
his fragile wife and gracious sister-in-law, and Carl drank 

70 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

tea (with lemon instead of milk in it !) and listened to 
bewildering talk and to a few stanzas, heroic or haunt- 
ingly musical, by a new poet, W. B. Yeats, an Irishman 
associated with a thing called the Gaelic Movement. 
Professor Frazer had a funny, easy friendliness ; his 
sister-in-law, a Diana in brown, respectfully asked Carl 
about the practicability of motor-cars, and all of them, 
including two newly come " high-brow " seniors, listened 
with nodding interest while Carl bashfully analysed each 
of the nine cars owned in Plato and Jamaica Mills. At 
dusk the Diana in brown played MacDowell, and the 
light of the silken-shaded lamp was on a print of a fairy 
Swiss village. 

That evening Carl wrestled with the Turk for one hour, 
catch-as-catch-can, on the Turk's bed and under it and 
nearly out of the window, to prove the value of Professor 
Frazer and culture. Next morning Carl and the Turk 
enrolled in Frazer's optional course in modern poetry, 
a desultory series of lectures which did not attempt Tenny- 
son and Browning. So Carl discovered Shelley and 
Keats and Walt Whitman, Swinburne and Rossetti and 
Morris. He had to read by crawling from word to word 
as though they were ice-cakes in a cataract of emotion. 
The allusiveness was agonizing. But he pulled off his 
shoes, rested his feet on the bottom of his bed, drummed 
with a pair of scissors on his knee, and persisted in his 
violent pursuit of the beautiful. Meanwhile Plain Smith 
flapped the pages of a Latin lexicon or took a little recre- 
ation by reading the Rev. Mr. Todd's Students' Manual, 
that gem of the alarm-clock and water-bucket epoch in 
American colleges. 

Carl never understood Genie Linderbeck's conviction 
that words are living things that dream and sing and 
battle. But he did learn that there was speech transcend- 
ing the barking of the Gang. 

In the spring of his freshman year Carl gave up wait- 
ing at table and drove a motor-car for a town banker. 
He learned every screw and spring in the car. He also 
made Genie go out with him for track athletics. Carl 

71 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

won his place in the college team as a half-miler, and 
viciously assaulted two freshmen and a junior for laughing 
at Genie's legs, which stuck out of his large running- 
shorts like straws out of a lemonade-glass. 

In the great meet with Hamlin University, though 
Plato lost most of the events, Carl won the half-mile 
race. He was elected to the exclusive fraternity of Ray 
Cowles and Howard Griffin, Omega Chi Delta. That 
excited him less than the fact that the Turk and he were 
to spend the summer up north, in the hard-wheat country, 
stringing wire for the telephone company with a gang 
of Minneapolis wiremen. 

Oh yes. And he would see Gertie in Joralemon. . . . 
She had written to him with so much enthusiasm when 
he had won the half-mile. 



CHAPTER VII 

HE saw Gertie two hours after he had reached Jorale- 
mon for a week's stay before going north. They 
sat in rockers on the grass. They were embarrassed, 
and rocked profusely and chattily. Mrs. Cowles was 
surprised and not much pleased to find him, but Gertie 
murmured that she had been lonely, and Carl felt that 
he must be nobly patient under Mrs. Cowles's slight. 
He got so far as to sigh, " O Gertie ! " but grew frightened, 
as though he were binding himself for life. He wished 
that Gertie were not wearing so many combs stuck all 
over her pompadoured hair. He noted that his rocker 
creaked at the joints, and thought out a method of 
strengthening it by braces. She bubbled that he was 
going to be the Big Man in his class. He said, " Aw, 
rats ! " and felt that his collar was too tight. ... He 
went home. His father remarked that Carl was late for 
supper, that he had been extravagant at Plato, and that 
he was unlikely to make money out of " all this runnin' 
races/' But his mother stroked his hair and called him 
her big boy. . . . He tramped out to Bone Stillman's 
shack, impatient for the hand-clasp of the pioneer, and 
grew eloquent, for the first time since his home-coming, 
as he described Professor Frazer and the delights of poesy. 
A busy week Carl had in Joralemon. Adelaide Benner 
gave a supper for him. They sat under the trees, laugh- 
ing, while in the dimly lighted street bicycles whirred, 
and people he had always known whispered that this 
guest of honour was Carl Ericson, come home a hero. 

The cycling craze still existed in Joralemon. Carl 
rented a cycle for a week from the Blue Front Hardware 
Store. Once he rode with a party of boys and girls to 
Tamarack Lake. Once he rode to Wakamin with Ben 
Rusk, home from Oberlin College. The ride was not 
entirely enjoyable, because Oberlin had nearly two thou- 
sand students and Ben was amusedly superior about 
Plato. They did, however, enjoy the stylishness of 
buying bottles of strawberry pop at Wakamin. 

73 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Twice Carl rode to Tamarack Lake with Gertie. They 
sat on the shore, and while he shied flat skipping-stones 
across the water and flapped his old cap at the hovering 
horse-flies, he babbled of the Turk's " stunts/' and the 
banker's car, and the misty hinterlands of Professor 
Frazer's lectures. Gertie appeared interested, and smiled 
at regular intervals, but so soon as Carl fumbled at one 
of Frazer's abstract theories she interrupted him with 
highly concrete Joralemon gossip. ... He suspected 
that she had not kept up with the times. True, she 
referred to New York, but as the reference was one she 
had been using these two years he still identified her with 
Joralemon. . . . He did not even hold her hand, though 
he wondered if it might not be possible ; her hand lay 
so listlessly by her skirt, on the sand. . . . They rode back 
in twilight of early June. Carl was cheerful as their 
wheels crunched the roads in a long, crisp hum. The 
stilly rhythm of frogs drowned the clank of their pedals, 
and the sky was vast and pale and wistful. 

Gertie, however, seemed less cheerful. 

On the last evening of his stay in Joralemon Gertie 
gave him a hay-ride party. They sang " Seeing Nelly 
Home," and " Merrily We Roll Along," and " Suwanee 
River," and " My Old Kentucky Home," and " My 
Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," and " In the Good Old 
Summertime," under a delicate new moon in a sky to 
apple-green. Carl pressed Gertie's hand ; she returned 
the pressure so quickly that he was embarrassed. He 
withdrew his hand as quickly as possible, ostensibly to 
help in the unpacking of the basket of ginger-ale and 
chicken sandwiches and three cakes (white-frosted, choco- 
late layer, and banana cake). 

The same group said good-bye to Carl at the M. & D. 
station. As the train started, Carl saw Gertie turn away 
disconsolately, her shoulders so drooping that her blouse 
was baggy in the back. He mourned that he had not 
been more tender with her that week. He pictured him- 
self kissing Gertie on the shore of Tamarack Lake, enfolded 
by afternoon and the mystery of sex and a protecting 

74 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

reverence for Gertie's loneliness. He wanted to go back 
back for one more day, one more ride with Gertie. But 
he picked up a mechanics 1 magazine, glanced at an article 
on gliders, read in the first paragraph a prophecy about 
aviation, slid down in his seat with his head bent over the 
magazine and the idyll of Gertie and afternoon was gone. 

He was reading the article on gliders in June, 1905, so 
early in the history of air conquest that its suggestions 
were miraculous to him ; for it was three years before 
Wilbur Wright was to startle the world by his flights at 
Le Mans ; four years before Bleriot was to cross the 
Channel though, indeed, it was a year and a half after 
the Wrights' first secret ascent in a motor-driven aero- 
plane at Kittyhawk, and fourteen years after Lilienthal 
had begun that epochal series of glider-flights which was 
followed by the experiments of Pilcher and Chanute, 
Langley and Montgomery. 

The article declared that if gasolene or alcohol engines 
could be made light enough we should all be flying to 
the office in ten years ; that now was the time for young- 
sters to practise gliding, as pioneers of the new age. Carl 
" guessed " that flying would be even better than auto- 
mobiling. He made designs for three revolutionary new 
aeroplanes, drawing on the margins of the magazine with 
a tooth-mark-pitted pencil stub. 

Gertie was miles back, concealed behind piles of triplanes 
and helicopters and following-surface monoplanes which 
the wizard inventor, C. Ericson, was creating and ruth- 
lessly destroying. ... A small boy was squalling in 
the seat opposite, and Carl took him from his tired mother 
and lured him into a game of tit-tat-toe. 

He joined the Turk and the wire-stringers at a prairie 
hamlet straggly rows of unpainted frame shanties, the 
stores with tin-corniced false fronts that pretended to be 
two stories high. There were pig-pens in the yards, 
and the single church had a square, low, white steeple 
like the paper cap which Labour wears in the posters. 
Farm-wagons were hitched before a gloomy saloon. Carl 
was exceeding glum. But the Turk introduced him 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

to a University of Minnesota Pharmacy School student 
who was with the crew during vacation, and the three 
Tvent tramping across breezy, flowered prairies. So began 
for Carl a galloping summer. 

The crew strung telephone wire from pole to pole all 
day, playing the jokes of hardy men, and on Sunday 
loafed in haystacks, recalling experiences from Winnipeg 
to El Paso. Carl resolved to come back to this life of the 
open, with Gertie, after graduation. He would buy a ranch 
"on time/' Or the Turk and Carl would go exploring in 
Alaska or the Orient. "Law? " he would ask himself in 
monologues, " law ? Me in a stuffy office ? Not a chance ! " 

The crew stayed for four weeks in a boom town of nine 
thousand, installing a complete telephone system. South- 
east of the town lay rolling hills. As Carl talked with 
the Turk and the Pharmacy School man on a hill-top, the 
first evening of their arrival, he told them the scientific 
magazine's prophecies about aviation, and noted that 
these hills were of the sort Lilienthal would probably 
have chosen for his glider-flights. 

" Say ! by the great Jim Hill, let's make us a glider ! " 
he exulted, sitting up, his eyelids flipping rapidly. 

" Sure ! " said the Pharmacy man. " How would you 
make one ? " 

" Why uh I guess you could make a frame out of 
willow have to ; the willows along the creeks are the 
only kind of trees near here. You'd cover it with var- 
nished cotton that's what Lilienthal did, anyway. But 
darned if I know how you'd make the planes curved 
cambered like he did. You got to have it that way. I 
suppose you'd use curved stays. Like a quarter barrel- 
hoop. ... I guess it would be better to try to make a 
Chanute glider just a plain pair of sup'rimposed planes, 
instead of one all combobulated like a bat's wings, like 
Lilienthal's glider was. ... Or we could try some experi- 
ments with paper models Oh no ! Thunder ! Let's 

make a glider." 

They did. 

They studied with aching heads the dry-looking tables 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

of lift and resistance for which Carl telegraphed to Chicago.. 
Stripped to their undershirts, they worked all through, 
the hot prairie evenings in the oil-smelling, greasy engine- 
room of the local power-house, in front of the dynamos, 
which kept evilly throwing out green sparks and rumbling the 
mystic syllable " Om-m-m-m," to greet their modern magic. 

They hunted for three-quarter-inch willow rods, but 
discarded them for seasoned ash from the lumber-yard. 
They coated cotton with thin varnish. They stopped to 
dispute furiously over angles of incidence, bellowing, " Well, 
look here then, you mutton-head ; 111 draw it for you/' 

On their last Sunday in the town they assembled the 
glider, single-surfaced, like a monoplane, twenty-two 
feet in span, with a tail, and with a double bar beneath 
the plane, by which the pilot was to hang, his hands 
holding cords attached to the entering edge of the plane, 
balancing the glider by movements of his body. 

At dawn on Monday they loaded the glider upon a 
wagon and galloped with it out to a forty-foot hill. They 
stared down the easy slope, which grew in steepness and 
length every second, and thought about Lilienthal's death. 

" W-w-well," shivered the Turk, " who tries it first ? " 

All three pretended to be adjusting the lashings, waiting 
for one another, till Carl snarled, " Oh, all right I I'll 
do it if I got to." 

" Course it breaks my heart to see you swipe the honour/' 
the Turk said, "but I'm unselfish. I'll let you do it. 
Brrrr ! It's as bad as the first jump into the swimming- 
hole in spring/' 

Carl was smiling at the comparison as they lifted the 
glider, with him holding the bars beneath. The plane 
was instantly buoyed up like a cork on water as the fifteen- 
mile head-wind poured under it. He stopped smiling. 
This was a dangerous living thing he was going to guide. 
It jerked at him as he slipped his arms over the suspended 
bars. He wanted to stop and think this all over. " Get 
it done ! " he snapped at himself, and began to run down- 
hill, against the wind. 

The wind lifted the plane again. With a shock Carl 

77 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

knew that his feet had left the ground. He was actually 
flying ! He kicked wildly in air. All his body strained 
to get balance in the air, to control itself, to keep from 
falling, of which he now felt the world-old instinctive horror. 

The plane began to tip to one side, apparently irresisti- 
bly, like a sheet of paper turning over in the wind. Carl 
was sick with fear for a tenth of a second. Every cell 
in his body shrank before coming disaster. He flung his 
legs in the direction opposite to the tipping of the plane. 
With this counter-balancing weight, the glider righted. 
It was running on an even keel, twenty-five feet above the 
sloping ground, while Carl hung easily by the double bar 
beneath, like a circus performer with a trapeze under each 
arm. He ventured to glance down. The turf was flowing 
beneath him, a green and sunny blur. He exulted. Flying ! 

The glider dipped forward. Carl leaned back, his 
arms widespread. A gust struck the plane, head on. 
Overloaded at the back, it tilted back, then soared up to 
thirty-five or forty feet. Slow-seeming, inevitable, the 
whole structure turned vertically upward. 

Carl dangled there against a flimsy sheet of wood and 
cotton, which for part of a second stuck straight up 
against the wind, like a paper on a screen-door. 

The plane turned turtle, slithered sidewise through 
the air, and dropped, horizontal now, but upside down, 
Carl on top. 

Thirty-five, forty feet down. 

"I'm up against it," was his only thought while he 
was falling. 

The left tip of the plane smashed against the ground, 
crashing, horribly jarring. But it broke the fall. Carl 
shot forward and landed on his shoulder. 

He got up, rubbing his shoulder, wondering at the 
suspended life in the faces of the other two as they ran 
down-hill toward him. 

" Jiminy," he said. " Glad the glider broke the fall. 
Wish we had time to make a new glider, with wing-warp. 
Say, we'll be late on the job. Better beat it P.D.Q." 

The others stood gaping. 



CHAPTER VIII 

A PILE of shoes and nose-guards and bicycle-pumps 
and broken hockey-sticks ; a wall covered with such 
stolen signs as " East College Avenue/' and " Trouser 
Presser Ladys Garments Carefully Done," and " Dr. 
Sloats Liniment for Young and Old " ; a broken-backed 
couch with a red-and-green antimacassar of mangy tassels ; 
an ink-spattered wooden table, burnt in small black 
spots along the edges ; a plaster bust of Martha Wash- 
ington with a moustache added in ink ; a few books ; an 
inundation of sweaters and old hats ; and a large, expen- 
sive mouth-organ such were a few of the interesting 
characteristics of the room which Carl and the Turk were 
occupying for sophomore year at Plato. 

Most objectionable sounds came from the room con- 
stantly : the Gang's songs, suggestive laughter, imitations 
of cats and fowls and fog-horns. These noises were less 
ingenious, however, than the devices of the Gang for 
getting rid of tobacco-smoke, such as blowing the smoke 
up the stove. 

Carl was happy. In this room he encouraged stammer- 
ing Genie Linderbeck to become adaptable. Here he 
scribbled to Gertie and Ben Rusk little notes decorated 
with badly drawn caricatures of himself loafing. Here, 
with the Turk, he talked out half the night, planning 
future glory in engineering. Carl adored the Turk for his 
frankness, his lively speech, his interest in mechanics 
and in Carl. 

Carl was still out for football, but he was rather light 
for a team largely composed of one-hundred-and-eighty- 
pound Norwegians. He had a chance, however. He 
drove the banker's car two or three evenings a week and 
looked after the banker's lawn and furnace and cow. He 
still boarded at Mrs. Henkel's, as did jolly Mae Thurston, 
whom he took for surreptitious rides in the banker's car, 
after which he wrote extra-long and pleasant letters to 
Gertie. It was becoming harder and harder to write to 
Gertie, because he had, in freshman year, exhausted all 

79 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the things one can say about the weather without being 
profane. When, in October, a new bank clerk stormed, 
meteor-like, the Joralemon social horizon, and became 
devoted to Gertie, as faithfully reported in letters from 
Joe Jordan, Carl was melancholy over the loss of a com- 
rade. But he strictly confined his mourning to leisure 
hours and with books, football, and chores for the banker, 
he was a busy young man. . . . After about ten days 
it was a relief not to have to plan letters to Gertie. The 
emotions that should have gone to her Carl devoted to 
Professor Frazer's new course in modern drama. 

This course was officially announced as a study of 
Bernard Shaw, Ibsen, Strindberg, Pinero, Hauptmann, 
Sudermann, Maeterlinck, D'Annunzio, and Rostand ; 
but unofficially announced by Professor Frazer as an 
attempt to follow the spirit of to-day wherever it should 
be found in contemporary literature. Carl and the Turk 
were bewildered but stanchly enthusiastic disciples of 
the course. They made every member of the Gang enrol 
in it, and discouraged inattention in the lecture-room by 
dexterous side-kicks. 

Even to Plain Smith, the grim and slovenly school- 
teacher who had called him " bub " and discouraged 
his confidences, Carl presented the attractions of Professor 
Frazer's lectures when he met him on the campus. Smith 
looked quizzical and " guessed " that plays and play- 
act in* were useless, if not actually immoral. 

" Yes, but this isn't just plays, my young friend/' said 
Carl, with a hauteur new but not exceedingly impressive 
to Plain Smith. " He takes up all these new stunts, all 
this new philosophy and stuff they have in London and 
Paris. There's something besides Shakespeare and the 
Bible ! " he added, intending to be spiteful. It may be 
stated that he did not like Plain Smith. 

" What new philosophy ? " 

" The spirit of brotherhood. I suppose you're too 
orthodox for that ! " 

" Oh no, sonny, not for that, not for that. And it 
ain't so very new. That's what Christ taught ! No, 

80 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

sonny, I ain't so orthodox but what I'm willing to have 
'em show me anything that tries to advance brotherhood. 
Not that I think it's very likely to be found in a lot of 
Noo York plays. But I'll look in at one lesson, any- 
way," and Plain Smith clumped away, humming " Green- 
land's Icy Mountains." 

Professor Frazer's modern drama course began with 
Ibsen. The first five lectures were almost conventional ; 
they were an attempt to place contemporary dramatists, 
with reflections on the box-office standpoint. But his 
sixth lecture began rather unusually. 

There was an audience of sixty-four in Lecture-room 
A earnest girl students bringing out notebooks and 
spectacle-cases, frivolous girls feeling their back hair, 
and the men settling down with a Come, let's get it 
over ! " air, or glowing up worshippingly, like Eugene 
Field Linderbeck, or determined not to miss anything, 
like Carl the captious college audience, credulous as to 
statements of fact and heavily unresponsive to the spirit. 
Professor Frazer, younger than half a dozen of the plough- 
trained undergraduates, thin of hair and sensitive of 
face, sitting before them, with one hand in his pocket 
and the other nervously tapping the small reading-table, 
spoke quietly : 

"I'm not going to be a lecturer to-day. I'm not going 
to analyse the plays of Shaw which I assigned to you. 
You're supposed to have read them yourselves. I am 
going to imagine that I am at tea in New Haven, or down 
in New York, at dinner in the basement of the old Bre- 
voort, talking with a bunch of men who are trying to 
find out where the world is going, and why and when and 
how, and asking who are the prophets who are going to 
show it the way. We'd be getting excited over Shaw 
and Wells. There's something really worth getting 
excited over. 

" These men have perceived that this world is not a 
crazy-quilt of unrelated races, but a collection of human 
beings completely related, with all our interests food 
and ambitions and the desire to play absolutely in 

81 F 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

common ; so that if we would take thought all together, 
and work together, as a football team does, we would 
start making a perfect world. 

" That's what socialism of which you're beginning 
to hear so much, and of which you're going to hear so 
much more means. If you feel genuinely impelled to 
vote the Republican ticket, that's not my affair, of course. 
Indeed, the Socialist party of this country constitutes 
only one branch of international socialism. But I do 
demand of you that you try to think for yourselves, if 
you are going to have the nerve to vote at all think of 
it to vote how this whole nation is to be conducted! 
Doesn't that tremendous responsibility demand that you 
do something more than inherit your way of voting ? 
that you really think, think hard, why you vote as you 
do ? ... Pardon me for getting away from the subject 
proper yet am I, actually ? For just what I have been 
saying is one of the messages of Shaw and Wells. 

" The great vision of the glory that shall be, not in one 
sudden millennium, but slowly advancing toward joys 
of life which we can no more prevision than the aboriginal 
medicine-man could imagine the X-ray ! I wish that 
this were the time and the place to rhapsodize about 
that vision, as William Morris has done, in News from 
Nowhere. You tell me that the various brands of socialists 
differ so much in their beliefs about this future that the 
bewildered layman can make nothing at all of their theories. 
Very well. They differ so much because there are so 
many different things we can do with this human race. 
. . . The defeat of death ; the life period advancing 
to tenscore years all crowded with happy activity. The 
solution of labour's problem ; increasing safety and decreas- 
ing hours of toil, and a way out for the unhappy consumer 
who is ground between labour and capital. A real democ- 
racy and the love of work that shall come when work is 
not relegated to wage-slaves, but joyously shared in a 
community inclusive of the living beings of all nations. 
France and Germany uniting precisely as Saxony and 
Prussia and Bavaria have united. And, most of all, a 

82 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

general realization that the fact that we cannot accom- 
plish all these things at once does not indicate that they 
are hopeless ; an understanding that one of the wonders 
of the future is the fact that we shall always, in all ages, 
have improvements to look forward to. 

" Fellow-students, object as strongly as you wish to 
the petty narrowness and vituperation of certain street- 
corner ranters, but do not be petty and narrow and vitu- 
perative in doing it ! 

" Now, to relate all this to the plays of Bernard Shaw. 
When he says " 

Professor Frazer's utterances seem tamely conservative 
nowadays ; but this was in 1905, in a small, intensely 
religious college among the furrows. Imagine a devout 
pastor when his son kicks the family Bible and you have 
the mental state of half the students of Plato upon hear- 
ing a defence of socialism. Carl, catching echoes of his 
own talks with Bone Stillman in the lecture, exultantly 
glanced about, and found the class staring at one another 
with frightened anxiety. He saw the grim Plain Smith, 
not so much angry as ill. He saw two class clowns snicker- 
ing at the ecstasy in the eyes of Genie Linderbeck. 

In the corner drug-store, popularly known as " The 
Club/' where all the college bloods gather to drink lemon 
phosphate, an excited old man, whose tieless collar was 
almost concealed by his tobacco-stained beard, pushed 
back his black slouch-hat with the G.A.R. cord, and 
banged his fist on the prescription-counter, shouting, 
half at the clerk and half at the students matching pennies 
on the soda-counter, "I've lived in Plato, man and boy, 
for forty-seven years ever since it waVt nothing but 
a frontier trading-post. I packed logs on my back and 
I tramped fifty-three miles to get me a yoke of oxen. I 
remember when the Indians went raiding during the war 
and the cavalry rode here from St. Paul. And this town 
has always stood for decency and law and order. But 
when things come to such a pass that this fellow Frazer 

83 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

or any of the rest of these infidels from one of these here 
Eastern colleges is allowed to stand up on his hind legs 
in a college building and bray about anarchism and tell 
us to trample on the old flag that we fought for, and 
none of these professors that call themselves ' reverends ' 
step in and stop him, then let me tell you I'm about ready 
to pull up stakes and go out West, where there's patriotism 
and decency still, and where they'd hang one of these 
foreign anarchists to the nearest lamp-post, yes, sir, and 
this fellow Frazer, too, if he encouraged them in their 
crank notions. Got no right in the country, anyway. 
Better deport 'em if they ain't satisfied with the way we 
run things. I won't stand for preaching anarchism, 
and never knew any decent place that would, never since 
I was a baby in Canada. Yes, sir, I mean it ; I'm an 
old man, but I'd pull up stakes and go plugging down 
the Santa Fe trail first, and I mean it." 

" Here's your Bog Bitters, Mr. Goff," said the clerk, 
hastily, as a passer-by was drawn into the store by the 
old man's tirade. 

Mr. Goff stalked out, muttering, and the college sports 
at the soda-counter grinned at one another. But Gus 
Osberg, of the junior class, remarked to Carl Ericson : 
" At that, though, there's a good deal to what old Goff 
says. Bet a hat Prexy won't stand for Prof. Frazer's 
talking anarchy. Fellow in the class told me it was 
fierce stuff he was talking. Reg'lar anarchy." 

" Rats ! It wasn't anything of the kind," protested 
Carl. " I was there and I heard the whole thing. He 
just explained what this Bernard Shaw that writes plays 
meant by socialism." 

" Well, even so, don't you think it's kind of unnecessary 
to talk publicly, right out in a college lecture-room, about 
socialism ? " inquired a senior who was high up in the 
debating society. 

" Well, thunder ! " was all Carl said, as the whole 

group stared at him. He felt ridiculous ; he was afraid 
of seeming to be a " crank." He escaped from the drug- 
store. 

84 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

When he arrived at Mrs. Henkel's boarding-house for 
supper the next evening he found the students passing 
from hand to hand a copy of the town paper, the Plato 
Weekly Times, which bore on the front page what the 
town regarded as a red-hat news story : 

PLATO PROFESSOR TALKS SEDITIOUSLY 

As we go to press we learn that rumours are 7 fly ing 
about the campus that the powers that be are highly 
incensed by the remarks of a well-known member of the 
local faculty praising Socialism and other form of anarchy. 
It is said that one of the older members of the faculty 
will demand from the erring teacher an explanation of 
his remarks which are alleged to have taken the form of 
a defence of the English anarchist Bernhard Shaw. Those 
on the que vive are expecting sensational developments 
and campus talk is so extensively occupied with discussions 
of the affair that the important coming game with St. 
John's college is almost forgotten. 

While the Times has always supported Plato College 
as one of the chief glories in the proud crown of Minnesota 
learning, we can but illy stomach such news. It goes 
without saying that we cannot too strongly express 
our disapproval of such incendiary utterances and we 
shall fearlessly report the whole of this affair let the chips 
fall where they may. 

"There, Mr. Ericson," said Mrs. Henkel, a plump, 
decent, disapproving person, who had known too many 
generations of great Platonians to be impressed by any- 
thing, " you see what the public thinks of your Professor 
Frazer. I told you people wouldn't stomach such news, 
and I wouldn't wonder if they strongly disapproved." 

" This ain't anything but gossip/' said Carl, feebly ; 
but as he read the account in the Weekly Times he was 
sick and frightened , such was his youthful awe of print. 
He wanted to beat the mossy-whiskered editor of the 
Times, who always had white food-stains on his lapels. 

85 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

When he raised his eyes the coquette Mae Thurston tried 
to cheer him : " It '11 all come out in the wash, Eric ; don't 
worry. These editors have to have something to write 
about or they couldn't fill up the paper." 

He pressed her foot under the table. He was chatty, 
and helped to keep the general conversation away from 
the Frazer affair ; but he was growing more and more 
angry, with a desire for effective action which expressed 
itself within him only by, "I'll show 'em ! Makes me so 
sore ! " 

Everywhere they discussed and rediscussed Professor 
Frazer : in the dressing-room of the gymnasium, where 
the football squad dressed in the sweat-reeking air and 
shouted at one another, balancing each on one leg before 
small lockers, and rubbing themselves with brown, unclean 
Turkish towels ; in the neat rooms of girl co-eds with 
their banners and cushions and pink comforters and 
chafing-dishes of nut fudge and photographic postal-cards 
showing the folks at home ; in the close, horse-smelling, 
laprobe and whip scattered office of the town livery- 
stable, where Mr. Goff droned with the editor of the Times. 

Everywhere Carl heard the echoes, and resolved, " I've 
got to do something ! " 



86 



CH A PTER IX 

THE day of Professor Frazer's next lecture, a rain- 
sodden day at the end of October, with the stubble- 
fields bleakly shelterless beyond the campus. The rain 
splashed up from pools on the worn brick walks and 
dripped from trees and whipped about buildings, soak- 
ing the legs and leaving them itchingly wet and the feet 
sloshily uncomfortable. Carl returned to his room at 
one ; talked to the Turk, his feet thrust against the side 
of their rusty stove. He wanted to keep three o'clock, 
the hour of Frazer's lecture, from coming. " I feel as 
if I was in for a fight and scared to death about it. Listen 
to that rain outside. Gee ! but the old dame keeps these 
windows dirty. I hope Frazer will give it to them good 
and hard. I wish we could applaud him. I do feel funny, 
like something tragic was going to happen." 

" Oh, tie that dog outside," yawned the Turk, stanch 
adherent of Carl, and therefore of Professor Frazer, but 
not imaginative. " Come on, young Kerl ; I'll play you 
a slick little piece on the mouth-organ. Heh ? " 

" Oh, thunder ! I'm too restless to listen to anything 
except a cannon." Carl stumped to the window and 
pondered on the pool of water flooding the greying grass 
stems in the shabby yard. 

When it was time to start for Professor Frazer's lecture 
the Turk blurted : " Why don't we stay away and forget 
about it ? Get her off your nerves. Let's go down to 
the bowling-alley and work up a sweat." 

" Not a chance, Turk. He'll want all the supporters 
he's got. And you'd hate to stay away as much as I 
would. I feel cheered up now ; all ready for the scrap. 
Yip ! Come on ! " 

" All right, governor. I like the scrap, all right, but 
I don't want to see you get all worked up." 

Through the rain, across the campus, an unusual num- 
ber of students in shining, cheap, black raincoats were 
hastening to the three-o'clock classes, clattering up the 
stone steps of the Academic Building, talking excitedly, 

87 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

glancing up at the arched door as though they expected 
to see something startling. Dozens stared at Carl. He 
felt rather important. It was plain that he was known 
as a belligerent, a supporter of Professor Frazer. As 
he came to the door of Lecture-room A he found that 
many of the crowd were deserting their proper classes 
to attend the Frazer event. He bumped down into his 
own seat, gazing back superciliously at the outsiders 
who were edging into unclaimed seats at the back of the 
room or standing about the door students from other 
classes, town girls, the young instructor in French, German, 
and music ; a couple of town club-women in glasses and 
galoshes and woollen stockings bunchy at the ankles. 
Every one was rapidly whispering, watching every one 
else, peeping often at the platform and the small door 
beside it through which Professor Frazer would enter. 
Carl had a smile ready for him. But there was no chance 
that the smile would be seen. There must have been 
a hundred and fifty in the room, seated and standing, 
though there were but seventy in the course, and but 
two hundred and fifty-six students in the whole college 
that year. 

Carl looked back. He clenched his fist and pounded 
the soft side of it on his thigh, drawing in his breath, 
puffing it out with a long exasperated " Hellll ! " For 
the Greek professor, the comma-sized, sandy-whiskered 
martinet, to whom nothing that was new was moral and 
nothing that was old was to be questioned by any under- 
graduate, stalked into the room like indignant Napoleon 
posing before two guards and a penguin at St. Helena. 
A student in the back row thriftily gave the Greek god 
his seat. The god sat down, with a precise nod. Instantly 
a straggly man with a celluloid collar left the group by 
the door, whisked over to the Greek professor, and fawned 
upon him. It was the fearless editor and owner (also 
part-time type-setter) of the Plato Weekly Times, who 
dated back to the days of Washington flat-bed hand- 
presses and pure Jeffersonian politics, and feared neither 
man nor devil, though he was uneasy in the presence of 

88 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

his landlady. He ostentatiously flapped a wad of copy- 
paper in his left hand, and shook a spatter of ink-drops 
from a fountain-pen as he interviewed the Greek professor, 
who could be seen answering pompously. Carl was hating 
them both, fearing the Greek as a faculty spy on Frazer, 
picturing himself kicking the editor, when he was aware 
of a rustling all over the room, of a general turning of 
heads toward the platform. 

He turned. He was smiling like a shy child in his hero- 
worship. Professor Frazer was inconspicuously walk- 
ing through the low door beside the platform. Frazer's 
lips were together. He was obviously self-conscious. 
His motions were jerky. He elaborately did not look 
at the audience. He nearly stumbled on the steps up 
to the platform. His hand shook as he drew papers from 
a leather portfolio and arranged them on the small read- 
ing-table. One of the papers escaped and sailed off the 
platform, nearly to the front row. Nearly every one 
in the room snickered. Frazer flushed. A girl student 
in the front row nervously bounded out of her seat, picked 
up the paper, and handed it up to Frazer. They both 
fumbled it, and their heads nearly touched. Most of the 
crowd laughed audibly. 

Professor Frazer sat down in his low chair, took out 
his watch with a twitching hand, and compared his time 
with the clock at the back of the room and so closely 
were the amateur executioners observing their victim 
that every eye went back to the clock as well. Even 
Carl was guilty of that imitation. Consequently he saw 
the editor, standing at the back, make notes on his copy- 
paper and smirk like an ill-bred hound stealing a bone. 
And the Greek professor stared at Frazer's gauche move- 
ments with a grim smugness that indicated, " Quite 
the sort of thing I expected/' The Greek's elbows were 
on the arm of the seat, and he held up before his breast 
a small red-leather-covered notebook which he super- 
ciliously tapped with a thin pencil. He was waiting. 
Like a judge of the Inquisition. . . . 

" Old Greek 's going to take notes and make a report 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

to the faculty about what Frazer says/' reflected Carl. 
" If I could only get hold of his notes and destroy them ! " 

Carl turned again. It was just three. Professor 
Frazer had risen. Usually he sat while lecturing. Fifty 
whispers commented on that fact ; fifty regular members 
of the course became self-important through knowing it. 
Frazer was leaning slightly against the table. It moved 
an inch or two with his weight, but by this time every 
one was too high-strung to laugh. He was pale. He 
rearranged his papers. He had to clear his throat twice 
before he could speak, in the now silent, vulturishly atten- 
tive room, smelling of wet second-rate clothes. 

The gusty rain could be heard. They all hitched in 
their seats. 

" Oh, Frazer can't be going to retract/' groaned Carl ; 
" but he's scared." 

Carl suddenly wished himself away from all this use- 
less conflict ; out tramping the wet roads with the Turk, 
or slashing through the puddles at thirty-five miles an 
hour in the banker's car. He noted stupidly that Genie 
Linderbeck's hair was scarcely combed. He found he 
was saying, " Frazer '11 fail, fail, fail ; he's going to fail, 
fail, fail." 

Then Frazer spoke. His voice sounded harsh and 
unrhythmical, but soon swung into the natural periods of 
a public speaker as he got into his lecture : 

" My friends," said he, " a part of you have come here 
legitimately, to hear a lecture ; a part to satisfy the 
curiosity aroused by rumours to the effect that I am 
likely to make indecorous and indecent remarks, which 
your decorum and decency make you wish to hear, and 
of which you will carry away evil and twisted reports, 
to gain the reputation of being fearless defenders of the 
truth. It is a temptation to gratify your desire and shock 
you a far greater temptation than to be repentant and 
reactionary. Only, it occurs to me that this place and 
time are supposed to be devoted to a lecture by Henry 
Frazer on his opinions about contemporary drama. It 

90 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

is in no sense to be given to the puling defence of a martyr, 
nor to the sensational self-advertisement of either myself 
or any of you. I have no intention of devoting any part 
of my lecture, aside from these introductory adumbrations, 
to the astonishing number of new friends whose bright 
and morning faces I see before me. I shall neither be 
so insincerely tactful as to welcome you, nor so frightened 
as to ignore you. Nor shall I invite you to come to me 
with any complaints you have about me. I am far too 
busy with my real work ! 

" I am not speaking patiently. I am not patient with 
you ! I am not speaking politely. Truly, I do not 
think that I shall much longer be polite ! 

" Wait. That sounds now in my ears as rhetorical ! 
Forgive me, and translate my indiscretions into more 
colloquial language. 

" Though from rumours I have overheard, I fancy 
some of you will do that, anyway. . . . And now, I 
think, you see where I stand. 

" Now then. For such of you as have a genuine interest 
in the brilliant work of Bernard Shaw I shall first con- 
tinue the animadversions on the importance of his social 
thought, endeavour to link it with the great and growing 
vision of H. G. Wells (novelist and not dramatist though 
he is, because of the significance of his new books, Kipps 
and Mankind in the Making), and point out the serious 
purpose that seems to me to underlie Shaw's sarcastic 
pictures of life's shams. 

" In my last lecture I endeavoured to present the destruc- 
tive side of present social theories as little as possible ; 
to dwell more on the keen desire of the modern thinkers 
for constructive imagination. But I judge that I was 
regarded as too destructive, which amuses me, and to 
which I shall apply the antidote of showing how destruc- 
tive modern thought is and must be whether running 
with sootily smoking torch of individuality in Bakunin, 
or hissing in Nietzsche, or laughing at Olympus in Bernard 
Shaw. My ' radicalism ' has been spoken of. Radical ! 
Do you realize that I am not suggesting that there might 

9 1 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

possibly some day be a revolution in America, but rather 
that now I am stating that there is, this minute, and for 
some years has been, an actual state of warfare between 
capital and labour ? Do you know that daily more 
people are saying openly and violently that we starve 
our poor, we stuff our own children with useless bookish- 
ness, and work the children of others in mills and let 
them sell papers on the streets in red-light districts at 
night, and thereby prove our state nothing short of insane ? 
If you tell me that there is no revolution because there 
are no barricades, I point to actual battles at Homestead, 
Pullman, and the rest. If you say that there has been 
no declaration of war, open war, I shall read you editorials 
from The Appeal to Reason. 

" Mind you, I shall not say whether I am enlisted for 
or against the revolutionary army. But I demand that 
you look about you and understand the significance of 
the industrial disturbances and religious unrest of the 
time. Never till then will you understand anything 
certainly not that Shaw is something more than an enfant 
terrible ; Ibsen something more than an ill-natured old 
man with dyspepsia and a silly lack of interest in skating. 
Then you will realize that in the most extravagant utter- 
ances of a red-shirted strike-leader there may be more 
fervent faith and honour, oftentimes, than in the virgin 
prayers of a girl who devoutly attends Christian Endeavour, 
but presumes to call Emma Goldman ' that dreadful 
woman/ Follow the labour-leader. Or fight him, good 
and hard. But do not overlook him. 

" But I must be more systematic. When John Tanner's 
independent chauffeur, of whom you have I hope you 
have read in Man and Superman " 

Carl looked about. Many were frowning ; a few lean- 
ing sidewise to whisper to neighbours, with a perplexed 
head-shake that plainly meant, " I don't quite get that." 
Wet feet were shifted carefully ; breaths caught quickly ; 
hands nervously played with lower lips. The Greek 
professor was writing something. Plain Smith was 

92 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

rigid, staring unyieldingly at the platform. Carl hated 
Smith's sinister stillness. 

Professor Frazer was finishing his lecture : 

" If it please you, chuck this course, don't read a single 
play I assign to you, be disrespectful, disbelieve all my 
contentions. And I shall still be content. But do not, 
as you are living souls, blind yourself to the fact that 
there is a world-wide movement to build a wider new 
world and that the world needs it and that in Jamaica 
Mills, on land owned by a director of Plato College, there 
are two particularly vile saloons which you must wipe 
out before you disprove me ! " Silence for ten seconds. 
Then, " That is all." 

The crowd began to move hesitatingly, while Professor 
Frazer hastily picked up his papers and raincoat and 
hurried out through the door beside the platform. Voices 
immediately rose in a web of talk, many-coloured, hot- 
coloured. 

Carl babbled to the man next him, " He sure is broad. 
He doesn't care whether they're conservative or not. 
And some sensation at the end ! " 

" Heh ? What ? Him ? " The sophomore was staring. 

" Yes. Why, sure ! Whadya mean ? " demanded Carl. 

" Well, and wha' do you mean by ' broad ' ? Sure I 
He's broad just like a razor edge." 

" Heh ? " echoed the next man down the row, a 
Y.M.C.A. senior. " Do you mean to say you liked it ? " 

" Why, sure ! Why not ? Didn't you ? " 

" Oh yes. Yes indeed ! All he said was that scarlet 
women like Emma Goldman were better than a C.E. 
girl, and that he hoped his students would bluff the course 
and chuck it, and that we could find booze at Jamaica 
Mills, and a few little things like that. That's all. Sure ! 
That's the sort of thing we came here to study." The 
senior was buttoning his raincoat with angry fingers. 

" That's Why, the man was insane ! And the 

way he denounced decency and Oh, I can't talk 

about it ! " 

93 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" W-w-w-well by gosh, of all the the " splut- 
tered Carl. " You and your Y.M.C.A. calling yourself 
religious, and misrepresenting like that you and your 

Why, you ain't worth arguing with. I don't 

believe you ' came to study ' anything. You know it 
all already." Passionate but bewildered, trying not to 
injure the cause of Frazer by being nasty, he begged: 
" Straight, didn't you like his lecture ? Didn't it give 
you some new ideas ? " 

The senior vouchsafed : " No, ' me and my Y.M.' 
didn't like it. Now don't let me keep you, Ericson. I 
suppose you'll be wanting to join dear Mr. Frazer in a 
highball ; you're such a pet of his. Did he teach you 
to booze ? I understand you're good at it." 

" You apologize or I'll punch your face off," said Carl. 
" I don't understand Professor Frazer's principles like I 
ought to. I'm not fighting for them. Prob'ly would 
if I knew enough. But I don't like your face. It's too 
long. It's like a horse's face. It's an insult to Frazer 
to have a horse-faced guy listen to him. You apologize 
for having a horse face, see ? " 

" You're bluffing. You wouldn't start anything here, 
anyway." 

" Apologize ! " Carl's fist was clenched. People were 
staring. 

" Cut it out, will you ! I didn't mean anything." 

" You wouldn't," snapped Carl, and rammed his way 
out, making wistful boyish plans to go to Frazer with 
devotion and offers of service in a fight whose causes 
grew more confused to him every moment. Beside him, 
as he hurried off to football practice, strode a big lines- 
man of the junior class, cajoling : 

" Calm down, son. You can't lick the whole college." 

" But it makes me so sore " 

" Oh, I know, but it strikes me that no matter how 
much you like Frazer, he was going pretty far when he 
said that anarchists had more sense than decent folks." 

" He didn't ! You didn't get him. He meant 

Lord, what's the use ! " 

94 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

He did not say another word as they hastened to the 
gymnasium for indoor practice. 

He was sure that they who knew of his partisanship 
would try to make him lose his temper. " Dear Lord, 
please just let me take out just one bonehead and beat 
him to a pulp, and then I'll be good and not open my 
head again," was his perfectly reverent prayer as he 
stripped before his locker. 

Carl and most of the other substitutes had to wait, 
and most of them gossiped of the lecture. They all greedily 
discussed Frazer's charge that some member of the cor- 
poration owned saloon lots, and tried to decide who it 
was, but not one of them gave Frazer credit. Twenty 
times Carl wanted to deny ; twenty times speech rose 
in him so hotly that he drew a breath and opened his 
mouth ; but each time he muttered to himself : " Oh, 
shut up ! You'll only make 'em worse/' Students 
who had attended the lecture declared that Professor 
Frazer had advocated bomb-throwing and obscenity, 
and the others believed, marvelling, " Well, well, well, 
well ! " with unctuous appreciation of the scandal. 

Still Carl sat aloof on a pair of horizontal bars, swing- 
ing his legs with agitated quickness, while the others 
covertly watched him slim, wire-drawn, his china-blue 
eyes blurred with fury, his fair Norse skin glowing dull 
red, his chest strong under his tight football jersey ; a 
clean-carved boy. 

The rubber band of his nose-guard snapped harshly 
as he plucked at it, playing a song of hatred on that hard 
little harp. 

An insignificant thing made him burst out. Tommy 
La Croix, the French Canuck, a quick, grinning, evil- 
spoken, tobacco-chewing, rather likeable young thug, 
stared directly at Carl and said, loudly : " 'Nother thing 
I noticed was that Frazer didn't have his trousers pressed. 
Funny, ain't it, that when even these dudes from Yale 
get to be cranks they're short on baths and tailors ? " 

Carl slid from the parallel bars. He walked up to 
the line of substitutes, glanced sneeringly along them, 

95 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

dramatized himself as a fighting rebel, remarked, " Half 
of you are too dumm to get Frazer, and the other half 
are old-woman gossips and ought to be drinking tea," 
and gloomed away to the dressing-room, while behind 
him the substitutes laughed, and some one called : " Sorry 
you don't like us, but we'll try to bear up. Going to lick 
the whole college, Ericson ? " 

His ears burned, in the dressing-room. He did not 
feel that they had been much impressed. 

To tell the next day or two in detail would be to make 
many books about the mixed childishness and heroic fine- 
ness of Carl's partisanship ; to repeat a thousand rumours 
running about the campus to the effect that the faculty 
would demand Frazer's resignation ; to explain the 
reason why Frazer's charge that a Plato director owned 
land used by saloons was eagerly whispered for a little 
while, then quite forgotten, while Frazer's reputation as 
a " crank " was never forgotten, so much does muck 
resent the muck-raker ; to describe Carl's brief call on 
Frazer and his confusing discovery that he had nothing 
to say ; to repeat the local paper's courageous reports 
of the Frazer affair, Turk's great oath to support Frazer 
" through hell and high water," Turk's repeated defiance : 
" Well, by golly ! we'll show the mutts, but I wish we 
could do something " ; to chronicle dreary classes whose 
dullness was evident to Carl, now, after his interest in 
Frazer's lectures. 

Returning from Genie Linderbeck's room, Carl found 
a letter from Gertie Cowles on the black-walnut hat -rack. 
Without reading it, but successfully befooling himself 
into the belief that he was glad to have it, he went whist- 
ling up to his room. 

Ray Cowles and Howard Griffin, those great seniors, 
sat tilted back in wooden chairs, and between them was 
the lord of the world, Mr. Bjorken, the football coach, a 
large, amiable, rather religious young man, who believed 
in football, foreign missions, and the Democratic party. 

96 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Hello ! Waiting for me or the Turk ? " faltered Carl, 
gravely shaking hands all round. 

" Just dropped up to see you for a second/' said Mr. 
Bjorken. 

" Sorry the Turk wasn't here." Carl had an ill-defined 
feeling that he wanted to keep them from becoming 
serious as long as he could. 

Ray Cowles cleared his throat. Never again would 
the black-haired Adonis, blossom of the flower of Jora- 
lemon, be so old and sadly sage as then. " We want to 
talk to you seriously about something for your own 
sake. You know I've always been interested in you, 
and Howard, and course we're interested in you as frat. 
brothers, too. For old Joralemon and Plato, eh ? Mr. 
Bjorken believes might as well tell him now, don't you 
think, Mr. Bjorken ? " 

The coach gave a regally gracious nod. Hitching 
about on the wood-box, Carl felt the bottom drop out of 
his anxious stomach. 

" Well, Mr. Bjorken thinks you're practically certain 
to make the team next year, and maybe you may even 
get put in the Hamlin game for a few minutes this year, 
and get your P." 

" Honest ? " 

" Yes, if you do something for old Plato, same 's you 
expect her to do something for you." Ray was quite 
sincere. " But not if you disregard team discipline and 
disgrace Omega Chi. Of course I can't speak as an actual 
member of the team, but still, as a senior, I hear things " 

" How d'you mean ' disgrace ' ? " 

" Don't you know that because you've been getting 
so savage about Frazer the whole team 's getting mad ? " 
said the coach. " Cowles and Griffin and I have been 
talking over the whole proposition. Your boosting 
Frazer " 

" Look here," from Carl, " I won't crawl down on my 
opinion about Frazer. Folks haven't understood him." 

" Lord love you, son," soothed Howard Griffin, " we 
aren't trying to change your opinion of Frazer. We're 

97 o 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

your friends, you know. We're proud of you for stand- 
ing up for him. Only thing is, now that he's practically 
fired, just tell me how it's going to help him or you or 
anybody else, now, to make everybody sore by roasting 
them because they can't agree with you. Boost ; don't 
knock ! Don't make everybody think you're a crank." 

" To be frank," added Mr. Bjorken, " you're just as 
likely to hurt Frazer as to help him by stirring up all this 
bad blood. Look here. I suppose that if the faculty 
had already fired Frazer you'd still go ahead trying to 
buck them." 

" Hadn't thought about it, but suppose I would." 

" Afraid it might be that way. But haven't you seen 
by this time about how much good it does for one lone 
sophomore to try and run the faculty ? " It was the 
coach talking again, but the gravely nodding mandarin- 
like heads of Howard and Ray accompanied him. " Mind 
you, I don't mean to disparage you personally, but you 
must admit that you can't hardly expect to boss every- 
thing. Just what good '11 it do to go on shouting for 
Frazer ? Quite aside from the question of whether he 
is likely to get fired or not." 

" Well," grunted Carl, nervously massaging his chin, 
" I don't know as it will do any direct good except 
maybe waking this darn conservative college up a little ; 
but it does make me so dog-gone sore " 

" Yes, yes, we understand, old man," the coach said, 
" but on the other hand here's the direct good of sitting 
tight and playing the game. I've heard you speak about 
Kipling. Well, you're like a young officer a subaltern 
they call it, don't they ? in a Kipling story, a fellow 
that's under orders, and it's part of his game to play 
hard and keep his mouth shut and to not criticize his 
superior officers, ain't it ? " 

" Oh, I suppose so, but " 

" Well, it's just the same with you. Can't you see 
that ? Think it over. What would you think of a lieu- 
tenant that tried to boss all the generals ? Just same 
thing. . . . Besides, if you sit tight, you can make the 

98 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

team this year, I can practically promise you that. Do 
understand this now ; it isn't a bribe ; we want you 
to be able to play and do something for old Plato in a 
real way in athletics. But you most certainly can't 
make the team if you're going to be a disorganizes " 

" All we want you to do," put in Ray Cowles, " is not 
to make a public spectacle of yourself as I'm afraid 
you've been doing. Admire Frazer all you want to, and 
talk about him to your own bunch, and don't back down 
on your own opinions, only don't think you've got to go 
round yelling about him. People get a false idea of you. 
I hate to have to tell you this, but several of the fellows, 
even in Omega Chi, have spoken about you, and wondered 
if you really were a regular crank. ' Of course he isn't, 
you poor cheese,' I tell 'em, but I can't be around to 
answer every one all the time, and you can't lick the 
whole college ; that ain't the way the world does things. 
You don't know what a bad impression you make when 
you're too outspoken. See how I mean ? " 

As the council of seers rose, Carl timidly said to Ray, 
" Straight, now, have quite a lot of the fellows been say- 
ing I was a goat ? " 

" Good many, I'm afraid. All talking about you. . . . 
It's up to you. All you got to do is not think you know 
it all, and keep still. Keep still till you understand the 
faculty's difficulties just a little better. Savvy ? Don't 
that sound fairly reasonable ? " 



99 



CHAPTER X 

THEY were gone. Carl was full of the nauseating 
shame which a matter-of-fact man, who supposes 
that he is never pilloried, knows when a conscientious 
friend informs him that he has been observed, criticized ; 
that his enthusiasms have been regarded as eccentrici- 
ties ; his affectionate approaches towards friendship as 
impertinence. 

There seemed to be hundreds of people in the room, 
nudging one another, waiting agape for him to do some- 
thing idiotic ; a well-advertised fool on parade. He 
stalked about, now shamefaced, now bursting out with a 
belligerent, " Aw, rats ! I'll show 'em ! " now plaintively 
beseeching, " I don't suppose I am helping Frazer, but 
it makes me so darn sore when nobody stands up for him 
and he teaches stuff they need so much here. Gee I 
I'm coming to think this is a pretty rough-neck college. 

He's the first teacher I ever got anything out of and 

Oh, hang it ! what 'd I have to get mixed up in all this 
for, when I was getting along so good ? And if it isn't 
going to help him " 

His right hand became conscious of Gertie's letter 
crumpled in his pocket. As turning the letter over and 
over gave him surprisingly small knowledge of its con- 
tents, he opened it : 

"DEAR CARL, You are just silly to tease me about any 
bank clerk. I don't like him any more at all and he can 
go with Linda all he likes, much I care ! 

"We are enjoying good health, though it is getting quite 
cold now and we have the furnace running now and it 
feels pretty good to have it. We had such a good time 
at Adelaide's party, she wore such a pretty dress. She 
flirted terribly with Joe Jordan, though of course you'll 
call me a cat for telling you because you like her so much 
better than me and alL 

"Oh, I haven't told you the news yet. Joe has accepted 
a position at St. Hilary in the mill there. 

100 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I have some pretty new things for my room, a beautiful 
hand-painted picture. Before Joe goes there is going to 
be a party for him at Semina's. I wish you could come. 
I suppose you have learned to dance well, of course you 
go to lots of parties at Plato with all the pretty girls and 
forget all about me. 

" I wish I was in Minneapolis, it is pretty dull here, and 
such good talks you and me had, didn't we ! 

" Oh, Carl dear, Ray writes us you are sticking up for 
that crazy Professor Frazer. I know it must take lots 
of courage and I admire you lots for it even if Ray doesn't, 
but oh, Carl dear, if you can't do any good by it I hope 
you won't get everybody talking about you without its 
doing any good, will you, Carl ? 

" I do so expect you to succeed wonderfully and I hope 
you won't blast your career even to stand up for folks 
when it's too late and won't do any good. 

" We all expect so much of you we are waiting ! You 
are our knight and you aren't going to forget to keep 
your armour bright, nor forget, 

"Yours as ever, 

"GERTIE." 

" Mmm ! " remarked Carl. " Dun' no* about this 
knight-and-armour business. I'd look swell, I would, 
with a wash-boiler and a few more tons of junk on. Mmm ! 

' Expect you to succeed wonderfully ' Oh, I don't 

suppose I had ought to disappoint 'em. Don't see where 
I can help Frazer, anyway. Not a bit." 

The Frazer affair seemed very far from him ; very 
hysterical. 

Two of the Gang ambled in with noisy proposals in 
regard to a game of poker, penny ante, but the thought 
of cards bored him. Leaving them in possession, one 
of them smoking the Turk's best pipe, which the Turk 
had been so careless as to leave in sight, he strolled out 
on the street and over to the campus. 

There was a light in the faculty-room in the Academic 
Building, yet it was not a " first and third Thursday," 

101 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

dates on which the faculty regularly met. Therefore, 
it was a special meeting ; therefore 

Promptly, without making any plans, Carl ran to the 
back of the building, shinned up a water-spout (humming 
" Just Before the Battle, Mother "), pried open a class- 
room window with his large jack-knife, of the variety 
technically known as a " toad-stabber " (changing his 
tune to " Onward, Christian Soldiers "), climbed in, 
tiptoed through the room, stopping often to listen, felt 
along the plaster walls to find the door, eased the door 
open, calmly sat down in the corridor, pulled off his shoes, 
said, " Ouch, it's cold on the feets ! " slipped into another 
class-room in the front of the building, put on his shoes, 
crawled out of the window, walked along a limestone 
ledge one foot wide to a window of the faculty-room, and 
peeped in. 

All of the eleven assistant professors and full professors, 
except Frazer, were assembled, with President S. Alcott 
Wood in the chair, and the Greek professor addressing 
them, referring often to a red-leather-covered notebook. 

" Um ! Making a report on Frazer's lecture/' said 
Carl, clinging precariously to the rough faces of the stones. 
A gust swooped around the corner of the building. He 
swayed, gripped the stones more tightly, and looked 
down. He could not see the ground. It was thirty-five 
or forty feet down. " Almost fell," he observed. " Gosh ! 
my hands are chilly ! " As he peered in the window again 
he saw the Greek professor point directly at the window, 
while the whole gathering startled, turned, stared. A 
young assistant professor ran toward the door of the 
room. 

" Going to cut me off. Dog-gone it," said Carl. " They'll 
wait for me at the math.-room window. Hooray ! I've 
started something." 

He carefully moved along the ledge to a point half-way 
between windows and waited, flat against the wall. 

Again he glanced down from the high, windy, narrow 
ledge. " It'd be a long drop. . . . My hands are cold. 
... I could slip. Funny, I ain't really much scared, 

102 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

though. . . . Say ! Where'd I do just this beforej? 
Oh yes ! " He saw himself as little Carl, lost with Gertie 
in the woods, caught by Bone Stillman at the window. 
He laughed out as he compared the bristly virile face of 
Bone with the pasty face of the young professor. " Seems 
almost as though I was back there doing the same thing 
right over. Funny. But I'm not quite as scared as I was 
then. Guess I'm growing up. Hel-lo ! here's our cunning 
Spanish Inquisition rubbering out of the next window." 

The window of the mathematics class-room, next to the 
faculty-room, had opened. The young professor who 
was pursuing Carl peppered the night with violent words 
delivered in a rather pedagogic voice. " Well, sir ! We 
have you ! You might as well come and give yourself 
up ! " 

Carl was silent. 

The voice said, conversationally : " He's staying out 
there. I'll see who it is." Carl half made out a head 
thrusting itself from the window, then heard, in sotto voce, 
" I can't see him." Loudly again, the pursuing professor 
yapped : " Ah, I see you. You're merely wasting time, 
sir. You might just as well come here now. I shall let 
you stay there till you do." Softly : " Hurry back into 
the faculty-room and see if you can get him from that 
side. Bet it's one of the sneaking Frazer faction." 

Carl said nothing ; did not budge. He peeped at the 
ledge above him. It was too far for him to reach it. 
He tried to discern the mass of the ground in the confusing 
darkness below. It seemed miles down. He did not 
know what to do. He was lone as a mateless hawk, 
there on the ledge, against the wall whose stones were 
pinchingly cold to the small of his back and his spread- 
eagled arms. He swayed slightly ; realized with trembling 
nausea what would happen if he swayed too much. . . . 
He remembered that there was pavement below him. 
But he did not think about giving himself up. 

From the mathematics-room window came : " Watch 
him. I'm going out after him." 

The young professor's shoulders slid out of the window. 
103 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl carefully turned his head and found that now a form 
was leaning from the faculty-room window as well. 

" Got me on both sides. Darn it I Well, when they 
haul me up on the carpet I'll have the pleasure of telling 
them what I think of them." 

The young professor had started to edge along the 
ledge. He was coming very slowly. He stopped and 
complained to someone back in the mathematics-room. 
" This beastly ledge is icy, I'm afraid." 

Carl piped : " Look out ! Y're slipping ! " 

In a panic the professor slid back into the window. 
As his heels disappeared through it, Carl dashed by the 
window, running sidewise along the ledge. While the 
professor was cautiously risking his head in the night air 
outside the window again, gazing to the left, where, he 
had reason to suppose. Carl would have the decency to 
remain, Carl was rapidly worming to the right. He 
reached the corner of the building, felt for the tin water- 
pipe, and slid down it, with his coat-tail protecting his 
hands. Half-way down, the cloth slipped and his hand 
was burnt against the corrugated tin. " Consid'able 
slide," he murmured as he struck the ground and blew 
softly on his raw palm. 

He walked away not at all like a melodramatic hero 
of a slide-by-night, but like a matter-of-fact young man 
going to see someone about business of no great impor- 
tance. He abstractedly brushed his left sleeve or his 
waistcoat, now and then, as though he wanted to appear 
neat. 

He tramped into the telephone-booth of the corner 
drug-store, called up Professor Frazer : 

" Hello ? Professor Frazer ? . . . This is one of 
your students in modern drama. I've just learned I 
happened to be up in the Academic Building and I happened 
to find out that Professor Drood is making a report to 
the faculty special meeting ! about your last lecture. 
I've got a hunch he's going to slam you. I don't want 
to butt in, but I'm awfully worried ; I thought perhaps 
you ought to know. . . . Who ? Oh, I'm just one of 

104 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

your students. . . . You're welcome. Oh, say, Professor, 
g-good luck. G'-bye." 

Immediately, without even the excuse that some evil 
mind in the Gang had suggested it, he prowled out to 
the Greek professor's house and tied both the front and 
back gates. Now the fence of that yard was high and 
strong and provided with sharp pickets ; and the pro- 
fessor was short and dignified. Carl regretted that he 
could not wait for the pleasure of seeing the professor 
fumble with the knots and climb the fence. But he had 
another errand. 

He walked to the house of Professor Frazer. He stood 
on the walk before it. His shoulders straightened, his 
heels snapped together, and he raised his arm in a formal 
salute. 

He had saluted the gentleness of Henry Frazer. He 
had saluted his own soul. He cried : "I will stick by 
him, as long as the Turk or any of 'em. I won't let Omega 
Chi and the coach scare me not the whole caboodle of 
them. I Oh, I don't think they can scare me. . . /* 



105 



CHAPTER XI 

THE students of Plato were required to attend chapel 
every morning. President S. Alcott Wood earnestly 
gave out two hymns, and between them informed the 
Almighty of the more important news events of the past 
twenty-four hours, with a worried advisory manner which 
indicated that he felt something should be done about 
them at once. 

President Wood was an honest, anxious body, some- 
thing like a small, learned, Scotch linen-draper. He 
was given to being worried and advisory and to sitting 
up till midnight in his unventilated library, grinding 
at the task of putting new wrong meanings into perfectly 
obvious statements in the Bible. He was a series of 
circles round head with smooth grey hair that hung 
in a fringe over his round forehead ; round face with 
round red cheeks ; absurdly heavy grey moustache that 
almost made a circle about his puerile mouth ; round 
button of a nose ; round heavy shoulders ; round little 
stomach in a grey sack-suit ; round dumplings of feet in 
shoes that were never quite fresh-blacked or quite dusty. 
A harassed, honourable, studious, ignorant, humourless, 
joke-popping, genuinely conscientious thumb of a man. 
His prayers were long and intimate. 

After the second hymn he would announce the coming 
social events class prayer-meetings and lantern-slide 
lectures by missionaries. During the prayer and hymns 
most of the students hastily prepared for first-hour classes, 
with lists of dates inside their hymn-books ; or they read 
tight-folded copies of the Minneapolis Journal or Tribune. 
But when the announcements began all Plato College sat 
up to attention, for Prexy Wood was very likely to com- 
ment with pedantic sarcasm on student peccadilloes, on 
cards and V-neck gowns and the unforgivable crime of 
smoking. 

As he crawled to the bare, unsympathetic chapel, the 
morn/ng after spying on the faculty-room, Carl looked 

106 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

restlessly to the open fields, sniffed at the scent of burning 
leaves, watched a thin stream of blackbirds in the windy 
sky. He sat on the edge of a pew, nervously jiggling his 
crossed legs. 

During the prayer and hymns a spontaneously born 
rumour that there would be something sensational in 
President Wood's announcements went through the 
student body. The president, as he gave out the hymns, 
did not look at the students, but sadly smoothed the 
neat green cloth on the reading-stand. His prayer, 
timid, sincere, was for guidance to comprehend the will 
of the Lord. 

Carl felt sorry for him. " Poor man's fussed. Ought 
to be ! I'd be, too, if I tried to stop a ten-inch gun like 
Frazer. . . . He's singing hard. . . . Announcements, 
now. . . . What's he waiting for ? Jiminy ! I wish 
he'd spring it and get it over. . . . Suppose he said some- 
thing about last night me " 

President Wood stood silent. His glance drifted from 
row to row of students. They moved uneasily. Then 
his dry, precise voice declaimed : 

" My friends, I have an unpleasant duty to perform this 
morning, but 1 have sought guidance in prayer, and I 
hope " 

Carl was agonizing : " He does know it's me ! He'll 
ball me out and fire me publicly ! . . . Sit tight, Ericson ; 
hold y' nerve ; think of good old Turk." Carl was not 
a hero. He was frightened. In a moment now all the 
eyes in the room would be unwinkingly focussed on him. 
He hated this place of crowding, curious young people 
and drab text-hung walls. In the last row he noted the 
pew in which Professor Frazer sat (infrequently). He 
could fancy Frazer there, pale and stern. " I'm glad I 
spied on 'em. Might have been able to put Frazer wise to 
something definite if I could just have overheard 'em." 

President Wood was mincing on : 

" and so, my friends, I hope that in devotion to 
the ideals of the Baptist Church we shall strive ever onward 
and upward in even our smallest daily concerns, per aspera 

107 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

ad aslra, not in a spirit of materialism and modern unrest 
but in a spirit of duty. 

" I need not tell you that there has been a great deal 
of rumour about the so-called ' faculty dissensions.' But 
let me earnestly beseech you to give me your closest 
attention when I assure you that there have been no 
faculty dissensions. It is true that we have found certain 
teachings rather out of harmony with the ideals of Plato 
College. The Word of God in the Bible was good enough 
for our fathers who fought to defend this great land, 
and the Bible is still good enough for us, I guess and I 
cannot find anything in the Bible about such doctrines as 
socialism and anarchism and evolution. Probably most 
of you have been fortunate enough to not have wasted 
any time on this theory called ' evolution.' If you don't 
know anything about it you have not lost anything. 
Absurd as it may seem, evolution says that we are all 
descended from monkeys ! In spite of the fact that 
the Bible teaches us that we are the children of God. 
If you prefer to be the children of monkeys rather than 
of God, well, all I can say is, I don't ! [Laughter.] 

" But the old fellow Satan is always busy going to and 
fro even in colleges, and in the unrestrained, overgrown, 
secularized colleges of the East they have actually been 
teaching this doctrine openly for many years. Indeed, 
I am told that right at the University of Chicago, though 
it is a Baptist institution, they teach this same silly 
twaddle of evolution, and I cannot advise any of you to 
go there for graduate work. But these scientific fellows 
that are too wise for the Bible fall into the pits they them- 
selves have digged, sooner or later, and they have been 
so smart in discovering new things about evolution that 
they have contradicted almost everything that Darwin, 
who was the high priest of this abominable cult, first 
taught, and they have turned the whole theory into a 
hodge-podge of contradictions from which even they 
themselves are now turning in disgust. Indeed, I am 
told that Darwin's own son has come out and admitted 
that there is nothing to this evolution. Well, we could 

108 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

have told him that all along, and told his father, and 
saved all their time, for now they are all coming right back 
to the Bible. We could have told them in the first place 
that the Word of God definitely explains the origin of 
man, and that anybody who tried to find out whether 
we were descended from monkeys was just about as wise 
as the man who tried to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." 

Carl was settled down in his pew, safe. 

President Wood was in his stride. " All this evolutionary 
fad becomes ridiculous, of course, when a mind that is 
properly trained in clear thinking by the diligent perusal 
of the classic strips it of its pseudo-scientific rags and shows 
it straight out from the shoulder, in the fire of common 
sense and sound religion. And here is the point of my 
disquisition : 

" On this selfsame evolution, this bombast of the self- 
pushing scientists, are founded all such un-Christian and 
un-American doctrines as socialism and anarchism and 
the lusts of feminism, with all their followers, such as 
Shaw and the fellow who tried to shoot Mr. Frick, and all 
the other atheists of the stripe that think so well of them- 
selves that they are quite willing to overthrow the grand 
old institutions that our forefathers founded on the 
Constitution; and they want to set up instead oh, 
they're quite willing to tell us how to run the government ! 
They want to set up a state in which all of us who are 
honest enough to do a day's work shall support the lazy 
rascals who aren't. Yet they are very clever men. They 
can pull the wool over your eyes and persuade you if you 
let them that a universal willingness to let the other 
fellow do the work while you paint pictures of flowers and 
write novels about the abominations of Babylon is going 
to evolute a superior race ! Well, when you think they 
are clever, this Shaw and this fellow Wells and all of them 
that copy Robert G. Ingersoll, just remember that the 
cleverest fellow of them all is the old Satan, and that 
he's been advocating just such lazy doctrines ever since 
he stirred up rebellion and discontent in the Garden of 
Eden! 

109 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" If these things are so, then the teachings of Professor 
Henry Frazer, however sincere he is, are not in accord- 
ance with the stand which we have taken here at Plato. My 
friends, I want you all to understand me. Certain young 
students of Plato appear to have felt that the faculty 
have not appreciated Professor Frazer. One of these 
students, I presume it was one of them, went so far as 
to attempt to spy on a faculty meeting last night. Who 
that man is I have means of finding out at any time. 
But I do not wish to. For I cannot believe that he realized 
how dishonest was such sneaking. 

" I wish to assure the malcontents that I yield to no 
one in my admiration of Professor Frazer's eloquence 
and learning in certain subjects. Only, we have not found 
his doctrines quite consistent with what we are trying 
to do. They may be a lot more smart and new-fangled 
than what we have out here in Minnesota, and we may be 
a lot of old fogies, but we are not narrow, and we wish to 
give him just as much right of free speech we wish 
there is uh no slightest uh desire, in fact, to impose 
any authority on anyone. But against any perversive 
doctrine we must in all honesty take a firm stand. 

" We carefully explained this to Professor Frazer, and 
permit me to inform those young men who have taken it 
upon themselves to be his champions, that they would 
do well to follow his example ! For he quite agrees with 
us as to the need of keeping the Plato College doctrine 
consistent. In fact, he offered his resignation, which we 
reluctantly accepted, very, very reluctantly. It will 
take effect on the first of the month, and, owing to illness 
in his family, he will not be giving any lectures before 
then. Students in his classes, by the way, are requested 
to report to the dean for other assignments, . . . And 
so you see how little there is to the cowardly rumours 
about ' faculty dissensions' ! " 

" Liar, liar ! Dear God, they've smothered that kind, 
straight Frazer," Carl was groaning. 

" Now, my friends, I trust you understand our position, 

.and uh " 

no 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

President Wood drew a breath, slapped the reading- 
stand, and piped, angrily : 

" We have every desire to permit complete freedom 
of thought and speech among the students of Plato, but 
on my word, when it comes to a pass where a few students 
can cause this whole great institution to forget its real 
tasks and devote all its time to quarrelling about a fad like 
socialism, then it's time to call a halt ! 

" If there are any students here who, now that I have 
explained that Professor Frazer leaves us of his own free 
will, still persist in their stubborn desire to create trouble, 
and still feel that the faculty have not treated Professor 
Frazer properly, or that we have endeavoured to coerce 
him, then let them stand up, right here and now, in chapel. 
I mean it ! Let them stop this cowardly running to and 
fro and secret gossip. Let them stand right up before 
us, in token of protest, here and now ! or otherwise 
hold their peace ! " 

So well trained to the authority of schoolmasters were 
the students of Plato, including Carl Ericson, that they 
sat as uncomfortable as though they were individually 
accused by the plump pedant who was weakly glaring 
at them, his round, childish hand clutching the sloping 
edge of the oak reading-stand, his sack-coat wrinkled 
at the shoulders and sagging back from his low linen 
collar. Carl sighted back at Frazer's pew, hoping that 
he would miraculously be there to confront the dictator. 
The pew was empty as before. There was no one to protest 
against the ousting of Frazer for saying what he believed 
true. 

Then Carl was agitated to find that Carl Ericson, a 
back-yard boy, was going to rise and disturb all these 
learned people. He was frightened again. But he stood 
up, faced the president, affectedly folded his arms, hastily 
unfolded them and put his hands in his pockets, one foot 
before the other, one shoulder humped a little higher 
than the other. 

The whole audience was staring at him. He did not 
dare peep at them, but he could hear their murmur of 

in 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

amazement. Now that he was up he rather enjoyed 
defying them. 

" Well, young man, so you are going to let us know 
how to run Plato/ 1 tittered the president. "I'm sure 
everybody will feel much obliged to you." 

Carl did not move. He was aware of Genie Linderbeck 
rising, to his left. No one else was up, but, with Genie's 
frail adherence, Carl suddenly desired to rouse every one 
to stand for Frazer and freedom. He glanced over at 
the one man whom he could always trust to follow him 
the Turk. A tiny movement of Carl's lips, a covert uptoss 
of his head, warned the Turk to rise now. 

The Turk moved, started to rise, slowly as though 
under force. He looked rather shamefaced. He uncrossed 
his legs and put his hands on the pew, on either side of 
his legs. 

" Shame ! " trembled a girl's voice in the junior section. 

" Sit down ! " two or three voices of men softly snarled, 
with a rustle of mob-muttering. 

The Turk hastily crossed his legs and slumped down 
in his seat. Carl frowned at him imploringly, then angrily. 
He felt spiritually naked to ask support so publicly, but 
he had to get the Turk up. The Turk shook his head 
beseechingly. Carl could fancy him grunting, " Aw, 
thunder ! I'd like to stand up, but I don't want to be a 
goat." 

Another man rose. "I'll be darned ! " thought Carl. 
It was the one man who would be expected not to support 
the heretic Frazer it was Carl's rustic ex-room-mate, 
Plain Smith. Genie was leaning against the pew in front 
of him, but Plain Smith bulked more immovable than 
Carl. 

No one joined the three. All through the chapel was 
an undertone of amazed comment and a constant low 
hissing of, " Sssssit down ! " 

The president, facing them, looked strained. It oc- 
curred to Carl that S. Alcott Wood had his side of the 
question. He argued about the matter, feeling detached 
from his stolidly defiant body. Then he cursed the presi- 

112 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

dent for keeping them there. He wanted to sit down. 
He wanted to cry out. . . . 

President Wood was speaking. " Is there anyone else ! 
Stand up, if there is. No one else ? Very well, young 
men, I trust that you are now satisfied with your hero- 
ism, which we have all greatly appreciated, I am sure. 
[Laughter.] Chapel dismissed." 

Instantly a swirl of men surrounded Carl, questioning r 
" What j' do it for ? Why didn't you keep still ? " 

He pushed out through them. He sat blind through 
the first-hour in physics, with the whole class watching 
him. The thought of the Turk's failure to rise kept un- 
happy vigil in his mind, The same sequence of reflec- 
tions ran around like midnight mice in the wall : 

" Just when I needed him. . . . After all his talk. . . , 
And us so chummy, sitting up all hours last night. And 
then the Turk throws me down. . . . When he'd said sc 
many times he just wanted the chance to show how strong 
he was for Frazer. . . . Damn coward ! I'll go and 

room with Genie. By gosh Oh, I got to be fair tc 

the Turk. I don't suppose he could have done much 
real good standing up. Course it does make you fee] 

kind of a poor nut, doing it. Genie looked Yes, 

by the Jim Hill ! there you are. Poor little scrawny 
Genie oh yes, sure, it was up to him to stand up. He 
wasn't afraid. And the Turk, the big stiff, he was afraid 
to. ... Just when I needed him. After all our talk 
about Frazer, sitting up all hours " 

Through the black whirlpool in his head pierced an 
irritated, " Mr. Ericson, I said ! Have you gone to sleep ? 
I understood you were excellent at standing up ! What 
is your explanation of the phenomenon ? " The pro- 
fessor of physics and mathematics the same who had 
pursued Carl on the ledge was speaking to him. 

Carl mumbled, sullenly, " Not prepared." The class 
sniggered. He devoted a moment to hating them, a< 
pariahs hate, then through his mind went whirling again, 
" Just wait till I see the Turk ! " 

113 H 



CHAPTER XII 

A NOTICE from the president's office, commanding 
Carl's instant presence, was in his post-office box 
He slouched into the waiting-room of the offices of the 
president and dean. He had an incarnate desire to saj 
exactly what he thought to the round, woolly Presidenl 
Wood. 

Plain Albert Smith was leaving the waiting-room 
He seized Carl's hand with his ploughman's paw, and 
" Good-bye, boy," he growled. There was nothing gallanl 
about his appearance his blue-flannel shirt dusty with 
white fuzz, his wrinkled brick-red neck, the oyster-like eai 
at which he kept fumbling with a seamy finger-nail of hii 
left hand. But Carl's salute was a salute to the new king 

" How d'you mean ' good-bye/ Al ? " 

" I've just resigned from Plato, Carl." 

" How'd you happen to do that ? Did they summor 
you here ? " 

" No. Just resigned/' said Plain Smith. " One tim< 
when I was school-teaching I had a set-to with a schoo 
committee of farmers about teaching the kids a little 
botany. They said the three R's were enough. I wor 
out, but I swore I'd stand up for any teacher that triec 
to be honest the way he seen it. I don't agree witl 
Frazer about these socialists and all fellow that's workec 
at the plough like I have knows a man wants to get aheac 
for his woman and himself, first of all, and let the walking 
delegates go to work, too. But I think he's honest, al 
right, and, well, I stood up, and that means losing mj 
scholarship. They won't try to fire me. Guess I'll cleai 
off to the U. of M. Can't probably live there as cheaj 
as here, but a cousin of mine owns a big shoe-store anc 
maybe I can get a job with him. . , . Boy, you wen 
plucky to get up. . . . Glad we've got each other, finally 
I feel as though you'd freed me from something. Goc 
bless you." 

To the dean's assistant, in the waiting-room, Carl grandly 
stated : " Ericson, 1908. I'm to see the president." 

114 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" It's been arranged you're to see the dean instead. 
Sit down. Dean's engaged just now." 

Carl was kept waiting for a half-hour. He did not 
like the transference to the dean, who was no anxious 
old lamb like S. Alcott Wood, but a young collegiate 
climber, with a clipped moustache, a gold eyeglass chain 
over one ear, a curt voice, many facts, a spurious appre- 
ciation of music, and no mellowness. He was a graduate 
of the University of Chicago, and aggressively proud of 
it. He had " earned his way through college/ 1 which all 
tradition and all fiction pronounce the perfect manner 
of acquiring a noble independence and financial ability. 
Indeed, the blessing of early poverty is in general praised 
as the perfect training for acquiring enough wealth to 
save one's own children from the curse of early poverty. 
It would be safer to malign George Washington and the 
Boy Scouts, professional baseball and the Y.M.C.A., 
than to suggest that working one's way through college 
is not necessarily manlier than playing and dreaming and 
reading one's way through. 

Diffidently, without generalizing, the historian reports 
this fact about the dean ; he had lost the graciousness 
of his rustic clergyman father and developed an itchingly 
bustling manner, a tremendous readiness for taking charge 
of everything in sight, by acquiring during his under- 
graduate days a mastery of all the petty ways of earning 
money, such as charging meek and stupid wealthy students 
too much for private tutoring, and bullying his classmates 
into patronizing the laundry whose agent he was. . . . 
The dean stuck his little finger far out into the air when 
drinking from a cup, and liked to be taken for a well- 
dressed man of the world. 

The half-hour of waiting gave Carl a feeling of the 
power of the authorities. And he kept seeing Plain 
Smith in his cousin's shoe-store, trying to " fit " women's 
shoes with his large red hands. When he was ordered 
to " step into the dean's office, now," he stumbled in, 
pulling at his soft felt hat. 

With his back to Carl, the dean was writing at a roll- 

"5 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

top desk. The burnished top of his narrow, slightly 
bald head seemed efficient and formidable. Not glancing 
up, the dean snapped, " Sit down, young man. 11 

Carl sat down. He crumpled his hat again. He stared 
at a framed photograph, and moved his feet about, trying 
to keep them quiet. 

More waiting. 

The dean inspected Carl, over his shoulder. He still 
held his pen. The fingers of his left hand tapped his desk- 
tablet. He turned in his swivel-chair deliberately, as though 
he was now ready to settle everything permanently. 

" Well, young man, are you prepared to apologize to 
the president and faculty ? " 

" Apologize ? What for ? The president said those 
that wanted to protest " 

" Now we won't have any blustering, if you please, 
Ericson. I haven't the slightest doubt that you are 
prepared to give an exhibition of martyrdom. That 
is why I asked the privilege of taking care of you, instead 
of permitting you to distress President Wood any further. 
We will drop all this posing, if you don't mind. I assure 
you that it doesn't make " 

JL' u 1 ~ 

" the slightest impression on me, Ericson. Let's 
get right down to business. You know perfectly well 
that you have stirred up all the trouble you " 

i 

" could in regard to Mr. Frazer. And I think, I 
really think, that we shall either have to have your written 
apology and your promise to think a little more before 
you talk, hereafter, or else we shall have to request your 
resignation from college. I am sorry that we apparently 
can't run this college to suit you, Ericson, but as we can't, 
why, I'm afraid we shall have to ask you not to increase 
our inefficiency by making all the trouble you can. Wait 
now ; let's not have any melodrama ! You may as well 
pick up that hat again. It doesn't seem to impress me 
much when you throw it down, though doubtless it was 
ver-ee dramatically done, oh yes, indeed, ver-ee dramatic. 

116 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

See here. I know you, and I know your type, my young 
friend, and I haven't " 

" Look here. Why do I get picked out as the goat, 
the one to apologize ? Because I stood up first ? When 
Prexy said to ? " 

" Oh, not at all. Say it's because you quite shamelessly 
made motions at others while you stood there, and did 
your best to disaffect men who hadn't the least desire 
to join in your trouble-making. . . . Now I'm very 
busy, young man, and I think this is all the time I shall 
waste on you. I shall expect to find your written " 

" Say, honest, dean," Carl suddenly laughed, " may 
I say just one thing before I get thrown out ? " 

" Certainly. We have every desire to deal justly with you, 
and to always give always to give you every opportunity 

" Well, I just wanted to say, in case I resign and don't 
see you again, that I admire you for your nerve. I wish 
I could get over feeling like a sophomore talking to a 
dean, and then I could tell you I hadn't supposed there 
was anybody could talk to me the way you have and get 
away with it. I'd always thought I'd punch their head 
off, and here you've had me completely buffaloed. It's 
wonderful ! Honestly, it never struck me till just this 
second that there isn't any law that compels me to sit here 
and take all this. You had me completely hypnotized." 

" You know I might retort truthfully and say I am 
not accustomed to have students address me in quite 
this manner. I'm glad, however, to find that you are 
sensible enough not to make an amusing show of your- 
self by imagining that you are making a noble fight for 
freedom. By decision of the president and myself I 
am compelled to give you this one chance only. Unless 
I find your apology in my letter-box here by five this 
evening I shall have to suspend you or bring you up 
before the faculty for dismissal. But, my boy, I feel 
that perhaps, for all your mistaken notions, you do have 
a certain amount of courage, and I want to say a word " 

The dean did say a word ; in fact he said a large number 

117 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

of admirable words, regarding the effect of Carl's possible 
dismissal on his friends, his family, and, with an almost 
tearful climax, on his mother. 

" Now go and think it over ; pray over it, unselfishly, 
my boy, and let me hear from you before five. 1 ' 

Only 

The reason why Carl did visualize his mother, the 
reason why the Ericson kitchen became so clear to him 
that he saw his tired-faced mother reaching up to wind the 
alarm-clock that stood beside the ball of odd string on the 
shelf above the water-pail, the reason why he felt caved-in 
at the stomach, was that he knew he was going to leave 
Plato, and did not know where in the world he was going. 

A time of quick action, of bursting the bonds even 
of friendship. He walked quietly into Genie Linder- 
beck's neat room, with its rose-hued eiderdown on a narrow 
brass bed, passe-partouted Copley prints, and a small 
oak table with immaculate green desk-blotter, and said 
good-bye. . . . His hidden apprehension, the cold, empty 
feeling of his stomach, the nervous intensity of his motions, 
told him that he was already on the long trail that leads 
to fortune and Bowery lodging-houses and death and 
happiness. Even while he was warning himself that 
he must not go, that he owed it to his " folks " to apologize 
and stay, he was stumbling into the bank and drawing 
out his ninety-two dollars. It seemed a great sum. While 
waiting for it he did sums on the back of a deposit-slip : 
92.00 out of bank 
2.27 in pocket 
about .10 at room 

tot. 94.37 

Owe Tailor 1.45 

Turk .25 

To Mpls. 3.05 

To Chi. probably 15 to 18.00 

To N.Y. 20 to 30.00 

To Europe (steerage) 40.00 

Total (about) 92.75 would take me to Europe ! 

118 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Golly ! I could go to Europe, to Europe ! now, if 
I wanted to, and have maybe two plunks over, for grub 
on the railway. But I'd have to allow something for 
tips, I guess. Maybe it wouldn't be as much as forty 

dollars for steerage. Ought to allow Oh, thunder ! 

I've got enough to make a mighty good start seeing the 
world, anyway.'* 

On the street a boy was selling extras of the Plato 
Weekly Times, with the heading : 

"PRESIDENT CRUSHES STUDENT REBELLION 

Plato Demonstration for Anarchist Handled 
Without Gloves." 

Carl read that he and two other students, " who are 
alleged to have been concerned in several student pranks/' 
had attempted to break up a chapel meeting, but had 
been put to shame by the famous administrator, S. Alcott 
Wood. He had never seen his name in the press, except 
some three times in the local items of the Joralemon 
Dynamite. It looked so intimidatingly public that he 
tried to forget it was there. He chuckled when he thought 
of Plain Smith and Genie Linderbeck as " concerned 
in student pranks." But he was growing angry. He 
considered staying and fighting his opponents to the 
end. Then he told himself that he must leave Plato, 
after having announced to Genie that he was going. . . . 
He had made all of his decision except the actual 
deciding. 

He omitted his noonday dinner and tramped into 
the country, trying to plan how and where he would 
go. As evening came, cloudy and chill in a low wooded 
tract miles north of Plato, with dead boughs keening 
and the uneasy air threatening a rain that never quite 
came, the loneliness of the land seemed to befog all the 
possibilities of the future. ... He wanted the lamp- 
lit security of his room, with the Turk and the Gang 
in red sweaters, singing ragtime ; with the Frazer affair 
a bad dream that was forgotten. The world outside 

119 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Plato would all be like these lowering woods and dreary 
swamps. 

He turned. He could find solace only in making his 
mind a blank. Sullen, dull, he watched the sunset, 
watched the bellying cumulus clouds mimic the Grand 
Canon. He had to see the Grand Canon ! He would ! 
. . . He had turned the corner. His clammy heart 
was warming. He was slowly coming to understand 
that he was actually free to take youth's freedom. 

He saw the vision of the America through which he 
might follow the trail like the pioneers whose spiritual 
descendant he was. How noble was the panorama that 
thrilled this one-generation American can be understood 
only by those who have smelled our brown soil ; not 
by the condescending gods from abroad who come hither 
to gather money by lecturing on our evil habit of money- 
gathering, and return to Europe to report that America 
is a land of Irish politicians, Jewish theatrical managers, 
and mining millionaires who invariably say, " I swan 
to calculate " ; all of them huddled in unfriendly hotels 
or in hovels set on hopeless prairie. Not such the America 
that lifted Carl's chin in wonder 

Cities of tall towers ; tawny deserts of the South-west 
and the flawless sky of cornflower blue over sage-brush 
and painted butte ; silent forests of the North-west ; 
golden China dragons of San Francisco ; old orchards 
of New England ; the oily Gulf of Mexico where tramp 
steamers puff down to Rio ; a snow-piled cabin among 
sombre pines of northern mountains. Elsewhere, else- 
where, elsewhere, beyond the sky-line, under larger stars, 
where men ride jesting and women smile. Names allur- 
ing to the American he repeated Shenandoah, Santa 
Ynez, the Little Big Horn, Baton Rouge, the Great 
Smokies, Rappahannock, Arizona, Cheyenne, Mononga- 
hela, Androscoggin ; canon and bayou ; sycamore and 
mesquite ; Broadway and El Camino Real. . . . 

He hurled along into Plato. He went to Mrs. Henkel's 
for supper. He smiled at the questions dumped upon 
him, and evaded answering. He took Mae Thurston 

120 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

aside and told her that he was leaving Plato. He wanted 
to call on Professor Frazer. He did not dare. From a 
pleasant gentleman drinking tea Frazer had changed 
to a prophet whom he revered. 

Carl darted into his room. The Turk was waiting for 
him. Carl cut short the Turk's apologies for not having 
supported Frazer, with the dreadful curt pleasantness 
of an alienated friend, and, as he began packing his clothes 
in two old suit-cases, insisted, " It's all right was your 
biz whether you stood up in chapel or not." He hunted 
diligently through the back of the closet for a non-existent 
shoe, in order to get away from the shamefaced melancholy 
which covered the Turk when Carl presented him with 
all his books, his skis, and his pet hockey-stick. He 
prolonged the search because it had occurred to him 
that, as it was now eleven o'clock, and the train north 
left at midnight, the Minneapolis train at ^ a.m., it might 
be well to decide where he was going when he went away. 
Well, Minneapolis and Chicago. Beyond that he'd 
wait and see. Anywhere he could go anywhere in all 
the world, now. . . . 

He popped out of the closet cheerfully. 

While the Turk mooned, Carl wrote short honest notes 
to Gertie, to his banker employer, to Bennie Rusk, whom 
he addressed as " Friend Ben." He found himself writ- 
ing a long and spirited letter to Bone Stillman, who came 
out of the backwater of ineffectually as a man who had 
dared. Frankly he wrote to his mother his mammy 
he wistfully called her. To his father he could not write. 
With quick thumps of his fist he stamped the letters, 
then glanced at the Turk. He was gay, mature, business- 
like, ready for anything. "I'll pull out in half an hour 
now," he chuckled. 

" Gosh ! " sighed the Turk. " I feel as if I was respon- 
sible for everything. Oh, say, here's a letter I forgot 
to give you. Came this afternoon." 

The letter was from Gertie: 

"DEAR CARL, I hear that you are standing for that 

121 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Frazer just as much as ever, and really, Carl, I think you 
might consider other people's feelings a little and not 
be so selfish " 

Without finishing it, Carl tore up the letter in a fury. 
Then, " Poor kid ; guess she means well/' he thought, 
and made an imaginary bow to her in farewell. 

There was a certain amount of the milk of human 
kindness in the frozen husk he had for a time become. 
But he must be blamed for icily rejecting the Turk's 
blundering attempts to make peace. He courteously 
courtesy, between these two ! declined the Turk's 
offer to help him carry his suit-cases to the station. That 
was like a slap. 

" Good-bye. Hang on tight," he said, as he stooped 
to the heavy suit-cases and marched out of the door 
without looking back. 

By some providence he was saved from the crime of 
chilly self-righteousness. On the darkness of the stairs 
he felt all at once how responsive a chum the Turk had 
been. He dropped the suit-cases, not caring how they 
fell, rushed back into the room, and found the Turk still 
staring at the door. He cried : 

" Old man, I was Say, you yahoo, are you going 

to make me carry both my valises to the station ? " 

They rushed off together, laughing, promising to write 
to each other. 

The Minneapolis train pulled out, with Carl trying 
to appear commonplace. None of the sleepy passengers 
saw that the Golden Fleece was draped about him or 
that under his arm he bore the harp of Ulysses. He 
was merely a young man taking a train at a way-station. 



122 



PART II 
The Adventure of Adventuring 

CHAPTER XIII 

THERE are to-day in the mind of Carl Ericson many 
confused recollections of the purposeless wander- 
ings which followed his leaving Plato College. For more 
than a year he went down, down in the social scale, down 
to dirt and poverty and association with the utterly 
tough and reckless. But day by day his young joy of 
wandering matured into an ease in dealing with what- 
ever man or situation he might meet. He had missed 
the opportunity of becoming a respectable citizen which 
Plato offered. Now he did all the grubby things which 
Plato obviated that her sons might rise to a place in 
society, to eighteen hundred dollars a year and the pos- 
session of evening clothes and a knowledge of Greek. 
But the light danced more perversely in his eyes every 
day of his roving. 

The following are the several jobs for which Carl first 
applied in Chicago, all the while frightened by the roar 
and creeping shadows of the city : 

Tutoring the children of a millionaire brewer; keep- 
ing time on the Italian and Polack washers of a window- 
cleaning company ; reporting on an Evanston news- 
paper ; driving a taxicab, a motor-truck ; keeping books 
for a suburban real-estate firm. He had it ground into 
him, as grit is ground into your face when you fall from 
a bicycle, that every one in a city of millions is too busy 
to talk to a stranger unless he sees a sound reason for 
talking. He changed the Joralemon Dynamite's phrase, 
" accept a position " to " get a job " and he got a job, 
as packer in a department store big as the whole of Jorale- 
mon. Since the street throngs had already come to 
seem no more personal and separable than the bricks 
in the buildings, he was not so much impressed by the 

123 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

crowds in the store as by the number of things for women 
to hang upon themselves. He would ramble in at lunch- 
time to stare at them and marvel, " You can't beat it ! " 

From eight till twelve-thirty, and from one till six 
or seven, during nearly two months, Carl stood in a long, 
brick-walled, stuffy room, inundated by floods of things 
to pack, wondering why he had ever left Plato to become 
the slave of a Swede foreman. The Great World, as 
he saw it through a tiny hole in one of the opaque wire- 
glass windows, consisted of three bars of a rusty fire- 
escape landing against a yellow brick wall, with a smudge 
of black on the wall below the landing. 

Within two days he was calling the packing-room a 
prison. The ceaseless rattle of speckled grey wrapping- 
paper, the stamp of feet on the grey cement floor, the 
greasy grey hair of the packer next to him, the yellow- 
stained, cracked, grey wash-bowl that served for thirty 
men, such was his food for dreams. 

Because his muscles were made of country earth and 
air he distanced the packers from the slums, however. 
He became incredibly swift at nailing boxes and crates 
and smashing the heavy wrapping-paper into shape 
about odd bundles. The foreman promised to make 
Carl his assistant. But on the cold December Saturday 
when his elevation was due he glanced out of a window, 
and farewell all ambition as a packer. 

The window belonged to the Florida Bakery and Lunch 
Room, where Carl was chastely lunching. There was 
dirty sawdust on the floor, six pine tables painted red 
and adorned with catsup-bottles whose mouths were 
clotted with dried catsup, and a long counter scattered 
with bread and white cakes and petrified rolls. Behind 
the counter a snuffling, ill-natured fat woman in slippers 
handed bags of sweets to shrill- voiced children who came 
in with pennies. The tables were packed with over- 
worked and underpaid men, to whom lunch was merely 
a means of keeping themselves from feeling inconveni- 
ently empty a state to which the leadlike viands of 
the Florida Lunch Room were a certain prevention. 

124 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl was gulping down salty beef stew and bitter coffee 
served in handleless cups half an inch thick. Beside 
him, elbow jogging elbow, was a surly-faced man in 
overalls. The old German waiters shuffled about and 
bawled, " Zwei bif stew, ein cheese-cake." Dishes clat- 
tered incessantly. The sicky-sweet scent of old pastry, 
of coffee-rings with stony raisins and buns smeared with 
dried cocoanut fibres, seemed to permeate even the bitter 
coffee. 

Carl got down most of his beef stew, attacked and 
gave up a chunk of hard-boiled potato, and lighted a 
cheap Virginia cigarette. He glanced out of the dirty 
window. Before it, making inquiries of a big, leisurely 
policeman, was a slim, exquisite girl of twenty, rosy- 
cheeked, smart of hat, impeccable of gloves, with fluffy 
white furs beneath her chin, which cuddled into the furs 
with a hint of a life bright and spacious. She laughed 
as she talked to the policeman, she shrugged her shoul- 
ders with the exhilaration of winter, and skipped away. 

" Bet she'd be a peach to know. . . . Fat chance 
I'd have to meet her, wrapping up baby-carriages for 
the North Shore commuters all day ! All day ! . . . 
Well, guess I'm going to honourably discharge myself ! " 

He left the job that afternoon. 

His satiny Norse cheeks shone as he raced home through a 
rising blizzard, after dinner at the Florida Lunch Room,where 
he had allowed himself a ten-cent dessert for celebration. 

But when he lolled in his hall bedroom, with his eyes 
attracted, as usual, to the three cracks in the blue-painted 
ceiling which made a rough map of Africa, when he 
visioned lands where there were lions and desert instead 
of department-store packages, his happiness wilted in 
face of the fact that he had only $10.42, with $8.00 
due him from the store the following Tuesday. Several 
times he subtracted the $3.00 he owed the landlady 
from $18.42, but the result persisted in being only $15.42. 
He could not make $15.42 appear a reasonable sum with 
which to start life anew. 

He had to search for a new job that evening. Only 

125 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

he was so tired ; it was so pleasant to lie there with 
his sore feet cooling against the wall, picturing a hunt 
in Africa, with native servants bringing him things to 
eat : juicy steaks and French-fried potatoes and gallons 
of ale (a repast which he may have been ignorant in 
assigning to the African jungles, but which seemed pecu- 
liarly well chosen, after a lunch-room dinner of watery 
corned-beef hash, burnt German-fried potatoes, and 
indigestible hot mince-pie). His thoughts drifted off 
to Plato. But Carl had a certain resoluteness even in 
these loose days. He considered the manoeuvres for 
a new job. He desired one which would permit him 
to go to theatres with the girl in white furs whom he 
had seen that noon the unknown fairy of his discontent. 

It may be noted that he took this life quite seriously. 
Though he did not suppose that he was going to continue 
dwelling in a hall bedroom, yet never did he regard him- 
self as a collegian Haroun al-Raschid on an amusing 
masquerade, pretending to be no better than the men 
with whom he worked. Carl was no romantic hero incog. 
He was a workman, and he knew it. Was not his father 
a carpenter ? his father's best friend a tailor ? Had 
he not been a waiter at Plato ? 

But not always a workman. Carl had no conception 
of world-wide class-consciousness ; he had no pride in 
being a proletarian. Though from Bone's musings and 
Frazer's lectures he had drawn a vague optimism about 
a world-syndicate of nations, he took it for granted that 
he was going to be rich as soon as he could. 

Job. He had to have a job. He got stiffly up from 
the iron bed, painfully drew on his shoes, after inspect- 
ing the hole in the sole of the left shoe, and the ripped 
seam at the back of the right. He pulled tight the paper- 
thin overcoat which he had bought at a second-hand 
dealer's shop, and dared a Chicago blizzard, with needles 
of snow thundering by on a sixty-mile gale. Through 
a street of unutterably drab stores and saloons he ploughed 
to the Unallied Taxicab Company's garage. He felt 
lonely, cold, but he observed with ceaseless interest the 

126 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

lew people, different people, who sloped by him in the 
iun web of the blizzard. The American marvelled at 
i recently immigrated Slav's astrackhan cap. 

He had hung about the Unallied garage on evenings 
tfhen he was too poor to go to vaudeville. He had become 
decidedly friendly with the night washer, a youngster 
trom Minneapolis. Trotting up to the washer, who was 
digging caked snow from the shoes of a car, he blurted : 

" Say, Coogan, I've beat my job at 's. How's chances 

[or getting a taxi to drive ? You know I know the game." 

" You ? Driving a taxi ? " stammered the washer. 
r ' Why, say, there was a guy that was a road-tester for 
the Blix Company and he's got a cousin that knows Bath- 
house John, and that guy with all his pull has been trying 
to get on drivin' here for the last six months and ain't 
ianded it, so you see about how much chance you got 1 " 

" Gosh ! it don't look much like I had much chance, 
for a fact." 

" Tell you what I'll do, though. Why don't you get 
Dn at some automobile factory, and then you could ring 
in as a chauffeur, soon 's you got some recommends you 
could take to the Y.M.C.A. employment bureau." The 
washer gouged at a clot of ice with his heel, swore pro- 
fusely, and went on : " Here. You go over to the Lodestar 
Motor Company's office, over on La Salle, Monday, and 
ask for Bill Coogan, on the sales end. He's me cousin, and 
you tell him to give you a card to the foreman out at 
the works, and I guess maybe you'll get a job, all right." 

Tuesday morning, after a severe questioning by the 
foreman, Carl was given a week's try-out without pay 
at the Lodestar factory. He proved to be one of those 
much-sought freaks in the world of mechanics, a natural 
filer. The uninspired filer, unaware of the niceties of 
the art, saws up and down, whereas the instinctive filer, 
like Carl, draws his file evenly across the metal, and the 
result fits its socket truly. So he was given welcome, 
paid twenty-five cents an hour, and made full member 
of exactly such a gang as he had known at Plato, after 
he had laughed away the straw boss who tried to make 

127 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

him go ask for a left-handed monkey-wrench. He roomed 
at a machinists' boarding-house, and enjoyed the furious 
discussions over religion and the question of air versus 
water cooling far more than he had ever enjoyed the 
polite jesting at Mrs. Henkel's. 

He became friendly with the foreman of the repair- 
shop, and was promised a " chance." While the driver 
who made the road-tests of the cars was ill Carl was called 
on as a substitute. The older workmen warned him 
that no one could begin road-testing so early and hold 
the job. But Carl happened to drive the vice-president 
of the firm. He discussed bass-fishing in Minnesota 
with the vice-president, and he was retained as road- 
tester, getting his chauffeur's licence. Two months 
later, when he was helping in the overhauling of a car 
in the repair-shop, he heard a full-bodied man with a 
smart English overcoat and a supercilious red face ask 
curtly of the shop foreman where he could get a " crack 
shuffer, right away, one that can give the traffic cops 
something to do for their money." 

The foreman always stopped to scratch his chin when 
he had to think. This process gave Carl time to look 
up from his repairs and blandly remark : " That's me. 
Want to try me ? " 

Half an hour later Carl was engaged at twenty-five 
dollars a week as the Ruddy One's driver. Before Mon- 
day noon he had convinced the Ruddy One that he was 
no servant, but a mechanical expert. He drove the 
Ruddy One to his Investments and Securities office in 
the morning, and back at five ; to restaurants in the 
evening. Not infrequently, with the wind whooping 
about corners, he slept peacefully in the car till two in 
the morning, outside a cafe*. And he was perfectly happy. 
He was at last seeing the Great World. As he manoeu- 
vred along State Street he rejoiced in the complications 
of the traffic and tooted his horn unnecessarily. As 
he waited before tall buildings, at noon, he gazed up 
at them with a superior air of boredom because he 
was so boyishly proud of being a part of all this titanic 

128 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

life that he was afraid he might show it. He gloried 
in every new road, in driving along the Lake Shore, where 
the horizon was bounded not by unimaginative land, 
but by restless water. 

Then the Ruddy One's favourite roads began to be 
familiar to Carl, too familiar, and he so hated his sot 
of an employer that he caught himself muttering, while 
driving, " Thank the Lord I sit in front and don't have 
to see that chunk of raw beefsteak he calls a neck." 

While he waited for the fifth time before a certain 
expensive but not exclusive roadhouse, with the bouncing 
giggles of girls inside spoiling the spring night, he studied 
the background as once he had studied his father's wood- 
shed. He was not, unfortunately, shocked by wine and 
women. But he was bored by box-trees. There was 
a smugly clipped box-tree on either side of the carriage 
entrance, the leaves like cheap green lacquer in the glare 
of the arc-light, which brought out all the artificiality 
of the grey-and-black cinder drive. He felt that five 
pilgrimages to even the best of box-trees were enough. 
It would be perfectly unreasonable for a free man to 
come here to stare at box-trees a sixth time. " All right," 
he growled. " I guess my-wandering-boy-to-night is 
going to beat it again." 

While he drove to the garage he pondered : " Is it 
worth twenty-five plunks to me to be able to beat it 
to-night instead of waiting four days till pay-day ? Nope. 
I'm a poor man." 

But at 5 a.m. he was hanging about the railway-yards 
at Hammond, recalling the lessons of youth in " flipping 
trains " ; and at seven he was standing on the buffers 
between two goods-trucks, clinging to the brake-rod, 
looking out to the open meadows of Indiana, laughing 
to see farm-houses ringed with apple-blossoms and sweet 
with April morning. The cinders stormed by him. As 
he swung with the cars, on curves, he saw the treacherous 
wheels grinding beneath him. But to the chuck-a-chuck, 
chuck-a-chuck, chuck-a-chuck of the trucks he hummed, 
" Never turn back, never tur* back, never tur' back." 

129 i 



CHAPTER XIV 

A YOUNG tramp named Carl Ericson crawled from 
the rods of an N. & W. goods truck at Roanoke, 
Virginia, on a May day, with spring at full tide and the 
Judas-trees a singing pink on the slopes of the Blue 
Ridge. 

" H'm ! " grunted the young tramp. " I like these 
mountains. Guess I'll stay here awhile. . . . Virginia ! 
Plantations and Civil War history and Richmond and 
everything, and me here ! " 

A frowzy old tramp poked a somnolent head up from 
a pile of lumber near the tracks and yawned welcome 
to the recruit. " Hello, Slim. How's tricks ? " 

" Pretty good. What's the best section to batter 
for a poke-out, Billy ? " 

" To the right, over that way, and straight out." 

" Much 'bliged," said Slim erstwhile Ericson. " Say, 
j' know of any jobs in this " 

" Any whats ? " 

" Jobs." 

" Jobs ? You looking for Say, you beat it. 

Gwan. Chase yourself. Gwan now ; don't stand there. 
You ain't no decent tramp. You're another of those 
Unfortunate Workmen that's spoiling the profesh." 
The veteran stared at Carl reprovingly, yet with a little 
sadness, too, at the thought of how bitterly he had been 
deceived in this young comrade, and his uncombed head 
slowly vanished amid the lumber. 

Carl grinned and started up-town. He walked into 
four restaurants. At noon, in white jacket, he was 
bustling about as waiter in the dining-room of the 
Waskahominie Hotel, which had " white service " as a 
feature. 

Within two days he was boon companion of a guest 
of the Waskahominie Parker Heye, an actor famous 
from Cape Charles to Shockeysville, now playing heavies 
at Roanoke in the Great Riley Tent Show, Presenting 
a Popular Repertoire of Famous Melodramas under 

130 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Canvas, Rain or Shine, Admittance Twenty-five Cents, 
Section Reserved for Coloured People, the Best Show 
under Canvas, This Week Only. 

When Parker Heye returned from the theatre Carl 
sat with him in a room which had calico-like wall-paper, 
a sunken bed with a bolster out of which oozed a bit 
of its soiled cotton entrails, a cracked water-pitcher on 
a staggering washstand, and a beautiful new cuspidor 
of white china hand-painted with pink moss-roses tied 
with narrow blue ribbon. 

Carl listened credulously to Heye's confidences as 
to how jealous was Rilcy, the actor-manager, of Heye's 
art, how Heye had " knocked them all down " in a stock 
company at Newport News, and what E. H. Sot hern 
had said to him when they met in Richmond as guests 
of the Seven Pines Club. 

" Say," rasped Heye, " you're a smart young fellow, 
good-looking, ejucated. Why don't you try to get an 
engagement ? I'll knock you down to Riley. The second 
juvenile's going to leave on Saturday, and there ain't 
hardly time to get anybody from Norfolk." 

" Golly ! that'd be great ! " cried Carl, who, like every 
human being since Eden, with the possible exceptions 
of Calvin and Richard Mansfield, had a secret belief that 
he could be a powerful actor. 

" Well, I'll see what I can do for you," said Heye, 
at parting, alternately snapping his braces and scratch- 
ing his head. Though he was in his stocking-feet and 
coatless, though the back of his neck was a scraggle of 
hair, Parker Heye was preferable to the three Swiss waiters 
snoring in the hot room under the eaves, with its door 
half open, opposite the half-open door of the room where 
negro chambermaids tumbled and snorted in uncouth 
slumber. Carl's nose wrinkled with bitter fastidiousness 
as he pulled off his clothes, sticky with heat, and glared 
at the swathed forms of the waiters. He was the aristo- 
crat among proletarians, going back to His Own People 
of the Great Riley Tent Show. 

As second juvenile of the Tent Show, Carl received 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

only twelve dollars a week, but Mr. Riley made him 
promises rich as the Orient beryl, and permitted him 
to follow the example of two of the bandsmen and pitch 
a cot on the trampled hay flooring of the dressing-room 
tent, behind the stage. There also Carl prepared break- 
fast on an alcohol-stove. The canvas creaked all night ; 
negroes and small boys stuck inquisitive heads under 
the edge of the canvas. But it was worth it to travel 
on again ; to have his mornings free except for an hour's 
rehearsal ; to climb to upland meadows of Virginia and 
Kentucky, among the pines and laurel and rhododendron ; 
tramping up past the log-cabins plastered with mud, 
where piccaninnies stared shyly, past glens shining with 
dogwood, and friendly streams. Once he sat for an hour 
on Easter Knob, gazing through a distant pass whose 
misty blue he pretended was the ocean. Once he heard 
there were moonshiners back in the hills. He talked 
to bearded Dunkards and their sunbonneted wives ; and 
when he found a Confederate veteran he listened to the 
tale of the defence of Richmond, delighted to find that 
the Boys in Grey were not merely names in the history- 
books. 

Of all these discoveries he wrote to his mother, wish- 
ing that her weary snow-bleached life might know the 
Southern sun. And the first five dollars he saved he 
sent to her. 

But as soon as Carl became an actor Parker Heye grew 
jealous of him, and was gratingly contemptuous when 
he showed him how to make up, among the cheap actors 
jammed in the men's dressing-room, before a pine board 
set on two saw-horses, under the light of a flaring kerosene- 
torch. Carl came to hate Heye and his splotched face, 
his pale, large eyes and yellow teeth and the fringe on 
his forehead, his black string tie that was invariably 
askew, his slovenly blue suit, his foppishly shaped brown 
button boots with " bulldog " toes. Heye invariably 
jeered : " Don't make up so heavy. . . . Well, put a 
little rouge on your lips. What d'you think you are ? 
A blooming red-lipped Venus ? . . . Try to learn to 

132 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

walk across the stage as if you had one leg that wasn't 
wood, anyway. . . . It's customary to go to sleep when 
you're playing a listening r61e, but don't snore ! . . . 
Oh, you're a swell actor ! Think of me swallering your 
story about having been t' college ! . . . Don't make 
up your eyebrows so heavy, you fool. . . . Why you 
ever wanted to be an actor ! " 

The Great Riley agreed with all that Heye said, and 
marvelled with Heye that he had ever tried an amateur. 
Carl found the dressing-room a hay-dusty hell. But 
he enjoyed acting in " The Widow's Penny," "Alabama 
Nell," " The Moonshiner's Daughter," and " The Crook's 
Revenge " far more than he had enjoyed picking phrases 
out of Shakespeare at a vaguely remembered Plato. 
Since, in Joralemon and Plato, he had been brought 
up on melodrama, he believed as much as did the audience 
in the plays. It was a real mountain cabin from which 
he fired wonderfully loud guns in " The Moonshiner's 
Daughter " ; and when the old mountaineer cried, " They 
ain't going to steal mah gal ! " Carl was damp at the 
eyes, and swore with real fervour the oath to protect 
the girl, sure that in the ravine behind the back-drop 
his bearded foemen were lurking. 

" The Crook's Revenge " was his favourite, for he 
was cast as a young millionaire and wore evening clothes 
(second-hand). He held off a mob of shrieking gangsters, 
crouched behind an overturned table in a gambling-den. 
He coolly stroked the lovely hair of the ingenue, Miss 
Evelyn L'Ewysse, with one hand, levelled a revolver 
with the other, and made fearless jests the while, to the 
infinite excitement of the audience, especially of the 
hyah-hyah-hyahing negroes, whose faces, under the 
flicker of lowered acetylene lights, made a segregated 
strip of yellow-black polka-dotted with white eye- 
balls. 

When the people were before him, respectful to art 
under canvas, Carl could love them ; but even the tiniest 
ragged-breeched darky was bold in his curiosity about 
the strolling players when they appeared outside, and 

133 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl was self-conscious about the giggles and stares that 
surrounded him when he stopped on the street or went 
into a drug-store for the comfortable solace of a banana 
split. He was in a rage whenever a well-dressed girl 
peeped at him amusedly. The staring so flustered him 
that even the pride of coming from Chicago and knowing 
about motors did not prevent his feeling feeble at the 
knees as he tried to stalk by the grinning motored aristoc- 
racy. He would return to the show-tent, to hate the 
few tawdry drops and flats the patch of green spat- 
tered with dirty white which variously simulated a daisy- 
field, a mountain-side, and that part of Central Park 
directly opposite the Fifth Avenue residence of the million- 
aire counterfeiter, who, you remember, always comes 
out into the street to plot with his confederates. Carl 
hated with peculiar heartiness the anaemic, palely varnished, 
folding garden seat, which figured now as a seat in the 
moonshiner's den, and now, with a cotton leopard-skin 
draped over it, as a fauteuii in the luxurious drawing- 
room of Mrs. Van Antwerp. The garden seat was, how- 
ever, associated with his learning to make stage love 
to Miss Evelyn L'Ewysse. 

It was difficult to appear unconscious of fifty small 
boys all smacking their lips in unison, while he kissed 
the air one centimetre in front of Miss L'Ewysse's lips. 
But he learned the art. Indeed, he began to lessen that 
centimetre of safety. 

Miss Evelyn L'Ewysse (christened Lena Ludwig, and 
heir presumptive to one of the best delicatessens in New- 
port News) revelled in love-making on and off. Carl 
was attracted by her constantly, uncomfortably. She 
smiled at him in the wings, smoothed her fluffy blond 
hair at him, and told him in confidence that she was a 
high-school graduate, that she was used to much, oh, 
much better companies, and was playing under canvas 
for a lark. She bubbled : " Ach, Louie, say, ain't it hot ! 
Honest, Mr. Ericson, I don't see how you stand it like 
you do. ... Say, honest, that was swell business you 
pulled in the third act last night. . . . Say, I know what 

134 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

let's do let's get up a swell act and get on the Peanut 
Circuit. We'd hit Broadway with a noise like seventeen 
marine bands. . . . Say, honest, Mr. Ericson, you do 

awful well for I bet you ain't no amachoor. I bet 

you been on before." 

He devoured it. 

One night, finding that Miss Evelyn made no comment 
on his holding her hand, he lured her out of the tent dur- 
ing a long wait, trembled, and kissed her. Her fingers' 
gripped his shoulders agitatedly, plucked at his sleeve 
as she kissed him back. She murmured, " Oh, you hadn't 
ought to do that." But afterward she would kiss him 
every time they were alone, and she told him with con- 
fidential giggles of Parker Heye's awkward attempts to 
win her. Heye's most secret notes she read, till Carl 
seriously informed her that she was violating a trust. 
Miss Evelyn immediately saw the light and promised 
she would " never, never, never do any thin' like that 
again, and, honest, she hadn't realized she was doing 
anything' dishon'able, but Heye is such an old pest " ; 
which was an excuse for her weeping on his shoulder and 
his kissing the tears away. 

All day he looked forward to their meetings. Yet 
constantly the law of the adventurer, which means the 
instinct of practical decency, warned him that this was 
no amour for him ; that he must not make love where 
he did not love ; that this good-hearted vulgarian was 
too kindly to tamper with and too absurd to love. 

Only And again his breath would draw in with 

swift exultation as he recalled how elastic were her shoulders 
to stroke. 

It was summer now, and they were back in Virginia, 
touring the Eastern Shore. Carl, the prairie-born, had 
been within five miles of the open Atlantic, though he 
had not seen it. Along the endless flat potato-fields, 
broken by pine-groves under whose sultry shadow negro 
cabins sweltered, the heat clung persistently. The show- 
tent was always filled with a stale scent of people. 

At the town of Nankiwoc the hotel was not all it might 

135 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

have been. Evelyn L'Ewysse announced that she was 
" good and sick of eating a vaudeville dinner with the 
grub acts stuck around your plate in a lot of birds' bath- 
tubs little mess of turnips and a dab of spinach and a 
fried cockroach. And when it comes to sleeping another 
night on a bed like a gridiron, no thank you I And 
believe me, if I see that rube hotel-keeper comb his 
whiskers at the hall hat-rack again he keeps a baby 
comb in his vest pocket with a lead-pencil and a cigar 
some drummer gave him if I have to watch him comb 
that alfalfa again I'll bite his ears off and get pinched 
by the S. P. C. A. ! " 

With Mrs. Lubley, the old lady and complacent un- 
official chaperon of the show, Eve was going to imitate 
Carl and the two bandsmen, and sleep in the dressing- 
room tent, over half of which was devoted to the women 
of the company. 

Every day Carl warned himself that he must go no 
farther, but every night as Eve and he parted, to sleep 
with only a canvas partition between them, he cursed 
the presence of the show chaperon, and of the two bands- 
men, always distressingly awake and talking till after 
midnight. 

A hot June night. The whole company had been 
invited to a dance at the U.C.V. Hall ; the two bands- 
men were going ; the chaperon lively old lady with 
experience on the burlesque circuit was gaily going. 
Carl and Eve were not. It had taken but one glance 
between them to decide that. 

They sat outside the silent tent, on a wardrobe trunk. 
What manner of night it was, whether starlit or sullen, 
Carl did not know ; he was aware only that it was oppres- 
sive, and that Eve was in his arms in the darkness. He 
kissed her moist, hot neck. He babbled incoherently 
of the show people, but every word he said meant that 
he was palpitating because her soft body was against 
his. He knew and he was sure that she knew that 
when they discussed Heye's string tie and pretended to 
laugh, they were agitatedly voicing their intoxication. 

136 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

His voice unsteady, Carl said : " Jiminy ! it's so hot, 
Eve ! I'm going to take off this darn shirt and collar and 
put on a soft shirt. S-say, w-why don't you put on a 
kimono or something ? Be so much cooler." 

" Oh, I don't know as I ought to " She was 

frightened, awed at Bacchic madness. " D-do you 
think it would be all right ? " 

" Why not ? Guess anybody's got a right to get cool 
night like this. Besides, they won't be back till 4 G.M. 
And you got to get cool. Come on." 

And he knew and he was sure that she knew that 
all he said was pretence. But she rose and said, nebu- 
lously, as she stood before him, ruffling his hair : " Well, 

I would like to get cool. If you think it's all right 

I'll put on something cooler, anyway." 

She went. Carl could hear a rustling in the women's 
end of the dressing-room tent. Fevered, he listened to 
it. Fevered, he changed to another shirt, open at the 
throat. He ran out, not to miss a moment with her. . . . 
She had not yet come. He was too overwrought to heed 
a small voice in him, a voice born of snow-fields coloured 
with sunset and trained in the quietudes of Henry Frazer's 
house, which insisted : " Go slow ! Stop ! " A louder 
voice throbbed like the pulsing of the artery in his neck, 
" She's coming ! " 

Through the darkness her light garment swished against 
the long grass. He sprang up. Then he was holding 
her, bending her head back. He exulted to find that 
his gripping hand was barred from the smoothness of 
her side only by thin silk that glided and warmed under 
his fingers. She sat on his knees and snuggled her 
loosened hair tinglingly against his bare chest. He felt 
that she was waiting for him to go on. 

Suddenly he could not, would not, go on. 

" Dearest, we mustn't ! " he mourned. 

" O Carl ! " she sobbed, and stopped his words with 
clinging lips. 

He found himself waiting till she should finish the kiss 
that he might put an end to this. 

137 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Perhaps he was checked by provincial prejudices about 
chivalry. But perhaps he had learned a little self-control. 
In any case, he had stopped for a second to think, and 
the wine of love was gone flat. He wished she would 
release him. Also, her hair was tickling his ear. He 
waited, patiently, till she should finish the kiss. 

Her lips drew violently from his, and she accused, 
" You don't want to kiss me ! " 

" Look here : I want to kiss you, all right Lord " 

For a second his arms tightened ; then he went on, cold : 
" But we'll both b good and sorry if we go too far. It 
isn't just a cowardly caution. It's Oh, you know." 

" Oh, yes, yes, yes, we mustn't go too far, Carl. But 
can't we just sit like this ? O sweetheart, I am so tired ! 
I want somebody to care for me a little. That isn't 
wicked, is it ? I want you to take me in your arms and 
hold me close, close, and comfort me. I want so much 
to be comforted. We needn't go any further, need we ? " 

" Oh now, good Lord ! Eve, look here : don't you 
know we can't go on and not go farther ? I'm having a 

hard enough time " He sprang up, shakily lighting 

a cigarette. He stroked her hair and begged : " Please 
go, Eve. I guess I haven't got very good control over 
myself. Please. You make me " 

" Oh yes, yes, sure ! Blame it on me ! Sure ! I 
made you let me put on a kimono ! I'm leading your 
pure white shrivelled peanut of a soul into temptation ! 
. . . Don't you ever dare speak to me again ! Oh, 
you you " 

She flounced away. 

Carl caught her, in two steps. " See here, child/' he 
said, gravely, " if you go off like this we'll both be miser- 
able. . . . You remember how happy we were driving 
out to the old plantation at Powhasset ? " 

" O Gawd ! won't you men never say anything original ? 
Remember it ? Of course I remember it ! What do you 
suppose I wore that little branch of laurel you picked 
for me, wore it here, here, at my breast, and I thought 
you'd care if I hid it here where there wasn't any grease 

138 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

paint, and you don't you don't care and we picnicked, 
and I sang all the time I put up those sandwiches and 
hid the grape-fruit in the basket to surprise you " 

" O darling Eve, I don't know how to say how sorry 
I am, so terribly sorry I've started things going ! It is 
my fault. But can't you see I've got to stop it before 
it's too late, just for that reason ? Let's be chums again." 

She shook her head. Her hand crept to his, slid over 
it, drew it up to her breast. She was swaying nearer 
to him. He pulled his hand free and fled to his tent. 

Perhaps his fiercest gibe at himself was that he had had 
to play the r61e of virgin Galahad rejecting love, which 
is praised in books and ridiculed in clubs. He mocked 
at his sincere desire to be fair to Eve. And between 
mockeries he strained to hear her moving beyond the 
canvas partition. He was glad when the bandsmen 
came larruping home from the dance. 

Next day she went out of her way to be chilly to him. 
He did not woo her friendship. He had resigned from 
the Great Riley Show, and he was going going anywhere, 
so long as he kept going. 



139 



CHAPTER XV 

HE had been a jolly mechanic again, in overalls and 
a defiant black skull-cap with long, shiny vizor ; 
the tender of the motor-boat fleet at an Ontario summer 
hotel. One day he had looked up, sweating and greasy, 
to see Howard Griffin, of Plato, parading past in white 
flannels. He had muttered : "I don't want Them to 
know I've just been bumming around. I'll go some place 
else. And I'll do something worth while." Now he 
was on the train for New York, meditating impersonally 
on his uselessness, considering how free of moss his rolling 
had kept him He could think of no particularly mastserful 
plan for accumulating moss. If he had not bought a 
ticket through to New York he would have turned back, 
to seek a position in one of the great automobile factories 
that now, this early autumn of 1906, were beginning 
to distinguish Detroit. Well, he had enough money 
to last for one week in New York. He would work in 
an automobile agency there ; later he would go to Detroit, 
and within a few years be president of a motor company, 
rich enough to experiment with motor-boats and to laugh 
at Howard Griffin or any other Platoman. 

So he sketched his conquering entrance into New York. 
Unfortunately it was in the evening, and, having fallen 
asleep at Poughkeepsie, he did not awake till a brakeman 
shook his shoulder at the Grand Central Station. He had 
heard of the old Grand Union Hotel, and drowsily, with 
the stuffy nose and sandy eyes and unclean feeling about 
the teeth that overpower one who sleeps in a smoking- 
car, he staggered across to the hotel and spent his first 
conquering night in filling a dollar room with vulgar sounds 
of over-weary slumber. 

But in the morning, when he stared along Forty-second 
Street ; when he breakfasted at a Childs' restaurant, 
like a gigantic tiled bathroom, and realized that the 
buckwheat cakes were New York buckwheats ; when he 
sighted the noble Times Building and struck out for 
Broadway (the magic name that promised marble palaces, 

140 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

even if it provided two-story shacks) ; when he bustled 
into a carburettor agency and demanded a job then, 
he found the gateway of wonder. 

But he did not find a job. 

Eight nights after his arrival he quietly paid his bill 
at the hotel ; tipped a curly-headed bell-boy ; checked 
his baggage, which consisted of a shirt, a razor, and an 
illustrated catalogue of automobile accessories ; put his 
tooth-brush in his pocket ; bought an evening paper in 
order to feel luxurious ; and walked down to the Charity 
Organization Society, with ten cents in his pocket. 

In the Joint Application Bureau, filled with desks and 
filing-cabinets, where poor men cease to be men and 
become Cases, Carl waited on a long bench till it was his 
turn to tell his troubles to a keen kindly, grey-bearded 
man behind a roll-top desk. He asked for work. Work 
was, it seemed, the one thing the society could not give. 
He received a ticket to the Municipal Lodging House. 

This was not the hygienic hostelry of to-day, but a 
barracks on First Avenue. Carl had a chunk of bread 
with too much soda in it, and coffee with too little coffee 
in it, from a contemptuous personage in a white jacket,, 
who, though his cuffs were grimy, showed plainly that 
he was too good to wait on rotters. Carl leaned his elbows 
on the long scrubbed table and chewed the bread of charity 
sullenly, resolving to catch a train next day and get out 
of town. 

He slept in a narrow bunk near a man with consump- 
tion. The room reeked of disinfectants and charity. 

The East Side of New York. A whirlwind of noise 
and smell and hovering shadows. The jargon of Jewish 
matrons in brown shawls and orthodox wigs, chaffering 
for cabbages and black cotton stockings and grey woollen 
undershirts with excitable push-cart proprietors who had 
beards so prophetic that it was startling to see a frivolous 
cigarette amid the reverend mane. The scent of fried 
fish and decaying bits of kosher meat, and passages as 
damnably rotten of floor as they were profitable to New 

141 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

York's nicest circles. The tall gloom of six-story tene- 
ments that made a prison wall of dulled yellow, bristling 
with bedding-piled fire-escapes and the curious heads of 
frowzy women. A potpourri of Russian signs, Yiddish 
newspapers, synagogues with six-pointed gilt stars, 
bakeries with piles of rye bread crawling with caraway- 
seeds, shops for hiring wedding finery that looked as if 
if could never fit anyone, second-hand furniture-shops 
with folding iron beds, a filthy baby holding a baby slightly 
younger and filthier, mangy cats slinking from pile to 
pile of rubbish, and a withered geranium in a tin can 
\vhose label was hanging loose and showed rust-stains 
amid the dry paste on its back. Everywhere crowds of 
voluble Jews in dark clothes, and noisily playing children 
that catapulted into your legs. The places in which we 
train the victims of Russian tyranny to appreciate our 
freedom. A whirlwind of alien ugliness and foul smells 
and incessant roar and the deathless ambition of young 
Jews to know Ibsen and syndicalism. It swamped the 
courage of hungry Carl as he roamed through Rivington 
Street and Essex and Hester, vainly seeking jobs from 
shopkeepers too poor to be able to bathe. 

He felt that he, not these matter-of-fact crowds, was 
alien. He was hungry and tired. There was nothing 
heroic to do just go hungry. There was no place 
where he could sit down. The seats of the tiny hard- 
trodden parks were full. ... If he could sit down, if 
lie could rest one little hour, he would be able to go and 
find goods-yards, where there would be the clean clang of 
bells and rattle of trucks instead of gabbled Yiddish. 
Then he would ride out into the country, away from 
the brooding shadows of this town, where there were 
no separable faces, but only a fog of ceaselessly moving 
crowds. . . . 

Late that night he stood aimlessly talking to a tramp 
on a dirty corner of the Bowery, where the early Septem- 
ber rain drizzled through the gaunt structure of the 
Elevated. He did not feel the hunger so much now, 
but he was meekly glad to learn from his new friend, 

142 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the tramp, that in one more hour he could get food in the 
bread-line. He felt very boyish, and would have confided 
the fact that he was starving to any woman, to anyone 
but this transcontinental fellow, the tramp royal, trained 
to scorn hunger. Because he was one of them he watched 
incuriously the procession of vagrants, in coats whose 
collars were turned up and fastened with safety-pins 
against the rain. The vagrants shuffled rapidly by, their 
shoulders hunched, their hands always in their trousers 
pockets, their shoe-heels always ground down and muddy. 

And incuriously he watched a saloon-keeper, whose 
face was plastered over with a huge moustache, come 
out and hang a sign, " Porter wanted in a.m.," on the 
saloon door. 

As he slouched away to join the bread-line, a black 
deuce in the world's discard, Carl was wondering how 
he could get that imperial appointment as porter in a 
Bowery saloon. He almost forgot it while waiting in 
the bread-line, so occupied was he in hating two collegians 
who watched the line with that open curiosity which nice, 
clean, respectable young men suppose the poor never 
notice. He restrained his desire to go over and quote 
Greek at them, because they were ignorant and not to 
blame for being sure that they were of clay superior to 
anyone in a bread-line. And partly because he had 
forgotten his Greek. 

He came back to the Bowery briskly, alone, with the 
manhood of a loaf of bread in him. He was going to 
get that job as porter. He planned his campaign as a 
politician plans to become a statesman. He slipped the 
sign, " Porter wanted in a.m.," from its nail and hid it 
beneath his coat. He tramped the street all night and, 
as suspicious characters always do to avoid seeming sus- 
picious, he begged a match from a policeman who was 
keeping an eye on him. The policeman chatted with 
him about baseball and advised him to keep away from 
liquor and missions. 

At 5 a.m. Carl was standing at the saloon door. When 
the bartender opened it, Carl bounced in, slightly dizzy, 

143 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

conscious of the slime of mud on his fraying trouser-ends. 

The saloon had an air of cheap crime and a floor covered 
with clotted sawdust. The bar was a slab of dark-brown 
wood. The nasty gutter was still filled with cigar-ends 
and puddles of beer and bits of free-lunch cheese. 

" I want that job as porter/' said Carl. 

" Oh, you do, do you ? Well, you wait and see who 
else comes to get it." 

" Nobody else is going to come." 

" How do you know they ain't ? " 

Carl drew the sign from beneath his coat and care- 
fully laid it on the bar. " That's why." 

" Well, you got nerve. You got the nerve of a Repub- 
lican on Fourteenth Street, like the fellow says. You 
must want it. Well, all right, I guess you can have it 
if the boss don't kick." 

Carl was accepted by the " boss," who gave him a 
quarter and told him to go out and get a " regular feed." 
He hummed over breakfast. He had been accepted 
again by all men when he had been accepted by the pro- 
prietor of a Bowery saloon. He was going to hold this 
job, no matter what happened. The rolling stone was 
going to gather moss. 

For three months Carl took seriously the dirtiest things 
in the world. He worked sixteen hours a day for eight 
dollars a week, cleaning cuspidors, scrubbing the floor, 
scattering clean sawdust, cutting the more rotten por- 
tions off the free-lunch meat. As he slopped about with 
half-frozen, brittle rags, tramps pushed him aside and 
spat on the floor he had just cleaned. 

Of his eight dollars a week he saved four. He took 
an airshaft bedroom in the flat of a Jewish sweatshop 
worker for one dollar and seventy-five cents a week. It 
was occupied daytimes by a cook in an all-night res- 
taurant, who had taken a bath in 1900 when at Coney 
Island on an excursion of the Pip O'Gilligan Association. 
The room was unheated, and every night during January 
Carl debated whether to go to bed with his shoes on or 
off. 

144 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

The sub-landlord's daughter was a dwarfish, blotched- 
faced, passionate child of fifteen, with moist eyes and 
very low-cut blouses of coarse voile (which she pronounced 
" voyle "). She would stop Carl in the dark " railway " 
hallway and, chewing gum rapidly, chatter about the 
aisleman at Wanamacy's, and what a swell time there 
would be at the coming ball of the Thomas J. Monahan 
Literary and Social Club, tickets twenty-five cents for 
lady and gent. She let Carl know that she considered 
him close-fisted for never taking her to the movies on 
Sunday afternoons, but he patted her head and talked 
to her like a big brother and kept himself from noticing 
that she had clinging hands and would be rather pretty, 
and he bought her a wholesome woman's magazine to 
read not an entirely complete solution to the problem 
of what to do with the girl whom organized society is 
too busy to nourish, but the best he could contrive just 
then. 

Sundays, when he was free for part of the day, he took 
his book of recipes for mixed drinks to the reading-room 
of the Tompkins Square library and gravely studied them, 
for he was going to be a bartender. 

Every night when he staggered from the comparatively 
clean air of the street into the fetid chill of his room he 
asked himself why he son of Northern tamaracks and 
quiet books went on with this horrible imitation of 
living; and each time answered himself that, whether 
there was any real reason or not, he was going to make 
good on one job at least, and that the one he held. And 
admonished himself that he was very well paid for a 
saloon porter. 

If Carl had never stood in the bread-line, if he had 
never beem compelled to clean a saloon gutter artistically, 
in order to keep from standing in that bread-line, he would 
surely have gone back to the commonplaceness for which 
every one except Bone Stillman and Henry Frazer had 
been assiduously training him all his life. They who 
know how naturally life runs on in any sphere will under- 
stand that Carl did not at the time feel that he was debased. 

145 K 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

He lived twenty-four hours a day and kept busy, with no 
more wonder at himself than is displayed by the profes- 
sional burglar or the man who devotes all his youth to 
learning Greek or soldiering. Nevertheless, the work 
itself was so much less desirable than driving a car or 
wandering through the moonlight with Eve L'Ewysse 
in days wonderful and lost that, to endure it, to conquer 
it, he had to develop a control over temper and speech 
and body which was to stay with him in windy mornings 
of daring. 

Within three months Carl had become assistant bar- 
keeper, and now he could save eight dollars a week. He 
bought a couple of motor magazines and went to one 
vaudeville show and kept his sub-landlord's daughter 
from running off with a cadet, wondering how soon she 
would do it in any case, and receiving a depressing insight 
into the efficiency of society for keeping in the mire most 
of the people born there. 

Three months later, at the end of winter, he was ready 
to start for Panama. 

He was going to Panama because he had read in a 
Sunday newspaper of the Canal's marvels of engineering 
and jungle. 

He had avoided making friends. There was no one 
to give him farewell when he emerged from the muck. 
But he had one task to perform to settle with the Saloon 
Snob. 

Petey McGuff was the name of this creature. He 
was an oldish and wicked man, born on the Bowery. He 
had been a heavy-weight prize-fighter in the days of John 
L. Sullivan ; then he had met John, and been, ever since, 
an honest crook who made an excellent living by conduct- 
ing a boxing-school in which the real work was done by 
assistants. He resembled a hound with a neat black 
bow tie, and he drooled tobacco-juice down his big, raw- 
looking, moist, bristly, too-masculine chin. Every even- 
ing from eleven to midnight Petey McGuff sat at the 
round table in the mildewed corner at the end of the bar, 
drinking old-fashioned whisky cocktails made with Bour- 

146 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

bon, staring at the nude models pasted on the milky surface 
of an old mirror, and teasing Carl. 

" Here, boy, come 'ere an' wipe off de whisky you 
spilled. . . . Come on, you tissy-cat. Get on de job. 
. . . You look like Sunday-school Harry. Mamma's 
little rosy-cheeked boy. . . . Some day I'm going to 
bust your beezer. Gawd ! it makes me sick to sit here 
and look at dose goily-goily cheeks. . . . Come 'ere, 
Lizzie, an' wipe dis table again. On de jump, daughter." 

Carl held himself in. Hundreds of times he snarled 
to himself : " I won't hit him ! I will make good on this 
job, anyway." He created a grin which he could affix easily. 

Now he was leaving. He had proven that he could 
hold a job ; had answered the unspoken criticisms from 
Plato, from Chicago garages, from the Great Riley Show. 
For the first time since he had deserted college he had 
been able to write to his father, to answer the grim 
carpenter's unspoken criticisms of the son who had given 
up his chance for an " education." And proudly he had 
sent to his father a little cheque. He had a beautiful new 
fifteen-dollar suit of blue serge at home. In his pocket 
was his ticket steerage by the P.R.R. line to Colon 
and he would be off for blue water next noon. His feet 
danced behind the bar as he filled tankards of beer and 
scraped off their foam with a celluloid ruler. He saw 
himself in Panama, with a clean man's job, talking to 
cosmopolitan engineers against a background of green- 
and-scarlet jungle. And, oh yes, he was going to beat 
Petey McGuff that evening, and get back much of the 
belligerent self-respect which he had been drawing off 
into tankards with the beer. 

Old Petey rolled in at two minutes past eleven, warmed 
his hands at the gas-stove, poked disapprovingly at the 
pretzels on the free-lunch counter, and bawled at Carl : 
" Hey, keep away from dat cash-register ! Wipe dem 
goilish tears away, will yuh, Agnes, and bring us a little 
health-destroyer and a couple matches." 

Carl brought a whisky cocktail. 

" Where's de matches, you tissy-cat ? " 
147 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl wiped his hands on his apron and beamed : " Well, 
so the old soak is getting too fat and lazy to reach over 
on the bar and get his own ! You'll last quick now ! " 

" Aw, is dat so ! ... For de love of Mike, d'yu 
mean to tell me Lizzie is talking back ? Whadda yuh 
know about dat ! Whadda yuh know about dat ! You'll 
get sick on us here, foist t'ing we know. Where was 
yuh hoited ? " 

Petey McGuff s smile was absolutely friendly. It made 
Carl hesitate, but it had become one of the principles of 
cosmic ethics that he had to thump Petey, and he growled : 
" I'll give you all the talking back you want, you big stiff. 
I'm getting through to-night. I'm going to Panama." 

" No, straight, is dat straight ? " 

" That's what I said." 

" Well, dat's fine, boy. I been watching yuh, and I 
sees y' wasn't cut out to be no saloon porter. I made a 
little bet with meself you was ejucated. Why, y'r cuffs 
ain't even doity not very doity. Course you kinda 
need a shave, but dem little blond hairs don't show much. 
/ seen you was a gentleman, even if de others didn't. 
You're too good t' be a rum-pedlar. Glad y're going, 
boy, mighty glad. Sit down. Tell us about it. We'll 
miss yuh here. I was just saying th' other night to Mike 
here dere ain't one feller in a hundred could 'a' stood 
de kiddin' from an old he-one like me and kep' his mout' 
shut and grinned and said nawthin' to nobody. Dat's 
w'at wins fights. But, say, boy, I'll miss yuh, I sure 
will. I get to be kind of lonely as de boys drop off like 
boozers always does. Oh, hell, I won't spill me troubles 
like an old tissy-cat. ... So you're going to Panama ? 
I want yuh to sit down and tell me about it. Whachu 
taking, boy ? " 

" Just a cigar. ... I'll miss you, too, Petey. Tell 
you what I'll do. I'll send you some post cards from 
Panama." 

Next noon as the s.s. Panama pulled out of her ice- 
lined dock Carl saw an old man shivering on the wharf 
and frantically waving good-bye Petey McGuff. 

148 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE s.s. Panama had passed Watling's Island and 
steamed into story-land. On the white-scrubbed 
deck aft of the wheel-house Carl sat with his friends of 
the steerage sturdy men all, used to open places ; old 
Ed, the rock-driller, long, Irish, huge-handed, irate, kindly ; 
Harry, the young mechanic from Cleveland. Ed and an 
oiler were furiously debating about the food aboard : 

" Aw, it's rotten, all of it," 

" Look here, Ed, how about the chicken they give 
the steerage on Sunday ? " 

" Chicken ? I didn't see no chicken. I see some sea- 
gull, though. No wonder they ain't no more sea-gulls 
following us. They shot 'em and cooked 'em on us/' 

" Say," mused Harry, " makes me think of when I 
was ship-building in Philly no, it was when I was broke 
in K. C. and a guy " 

Carl smiled in content, exulting in the talk of the men 
of the road, exulting in his new blue serge suit, his new 
silver-grey tie with no smell of the saloon about it, finger- 
nails that were growing pink again and the sunset that 
made glorious his petty prides. A vast plane of unrip- 
pling plum-coloured sea was set with mirror-like pools 
where floated tree-branches so suffused with light that 
the glad heart blessed them. His first flying-fish leaped 
silvery from silver sea, and Carl cried, almost aloud, 
" This is what I've been wanting all my life ! " 

Aloud, to Harry : " Say, what's it like in Kansas ? 
I'm going down through there some day." He spoke 
harshly. But the real Carl was robed in light and the 
murmurous wake of evening, with the tropics down the 
sky line. 

Lying in his hot steerage bunk, stripped to his vest, 
Carl peered through the " state-room " window to the 
swishing night sea, conscious of the rolling of the boat, 
of the engines shaking her, of bolts studding the white 
iron wall, of life-belts over his head, of stokers singing 

149 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

in the gangway as they dumped the clinkers overboard. 
The Panama was pounding on, on, on, and he rejoiced, 
" This is just what I've wanted, always/ 1 

They are creeping in toward the wharf at Colon. He is 
seeing Panama ! First a point of palms, then the hospital, 
the red roofs of the I.C.C. quarters at Cristobal, and 
negroes on the sun-blistered wharf. 

At last he is free to go ashore in wonderland a medley 
of Colon and Cristobal, Panama and the Canal Zone of 
1907 ; Spiggoty policemen like monkeys chattering bad 
Spanish, and big, smiling Canal Zone policemen in khaki, 
with the air of soldiers ; Jamaica negroes with conical 
heads and brown Barbados negroes with Cockney a ccents ; 
English engineers in lordly pugarees, and tourists from 
New England who seem servants of their own tortoise- 
shell spectacles ; confortable ebon mammies with silver 
bangles and kerchiefs of stabbing scarlet, dressed in 
starched pink-and-blue gingham, selling guavas and 
green Toboga Island pineapples. Carl gapes at Pana- 
manian nuns and Chilean consuls, French peasant labourers 
and indignant Irish foremen and German concessionaries 
with duelling scars and high collars. Gold Spanish signs 
and Spiggoty money and hotels with American cuspidors 
and job-hunters ; tin roofs and arcades ; shops open to 
the street in front, but mysterious within, giving glimpses 
of the canny Chinese proprietors smoking tiny pipes. 
Trains from towns along the Canal, and sometimes the 
black funeral-car, bound for Monkey Hill Cemetery. 
Gambling houses where it is considered humorous to play 
"Where Is My Wandering Boy To-night?" on the 
phonograph while wandering boys sit at poker ; and less 
cleanly places, named after the various states. Negro 
wenches in yellow calico dancing to fiddled tunes older than 
voodoo ; Indian planters coming sullenly in with pale- 
green bananas ; memories of the Spanish Main and Mor- 
gan's raid, of pieces of eight and cutlasses ho ! Capes of 
cocoanut palms running into a welter of surf ; huts on 
piles streaked with moss, round whose bases land-crabs 

150 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

scuttle with a dry rattling that carries far in the hot, moist, 
still air, and suggest the corpses of disappeared men found 
half devoured. 

Then, for contrast, the transplanted North, with its 
seriousness about the Service ; the American avenues and 
cool breezes of Cristobal, where fat, bald chiefs of the 
I.C.C. drive pompously with political guests who, in 
1907, are still incredulous about the success of the military 
socialism of the Canal, and where wives from Oklahoma 
or Boston, seated in Grand Rapids golden-oak rockers 
on the screened porches of bungalows, talk of hats, and 
children, and mail-orders, and cards, and The Colonel, 
and malaria fever, and Chautauqua, and the Culebra slide. 

Colon ! A kaleidoscope of crimson and green and 
dazzling white, warm-hued peoples and sizzling roofs, 
with echoes from the high endeavour of the Canal and 
whispers from the unknown Bush ; drenched with sudden 
rain like escaping steam, or languid under the desert glare 
of the sky, where hangs a gyre of buzzards whose slow 
circles are stiller than death and calmer than wisdom. 

" Lord ! " sighs Carl Ericson from Joralemon, " this is 
what I've wanted ever since I was a kid/' 

At Pedro Miguel, which the Canal employees always 
called " Peter McGill," he found work first as an un- 
official time-keeper ; presently, after examinations, as a 
stationary engineer on the roll of the I.C.C. Within 
a month he showed no signs of his Bowery experiences 
beyond a shallow hollow in his smooth cheeks. He lived 
in quarters like a college dormitory, communistic and 
jolly, littered with shoes and cube-cut tobacco and college 
banners ; clean youngsters dropping in for an easy chat 
and behind it all, the mystery of the Bush. His room- 
companion, a conductor on the P.R.R., was a globe- 
trotter, and through him Carl met the Adventurers, whom 
he had been questing ever since he had run away from 
Oscar Ericson's woodshed. There was a young engineer 
from Boston Tech., who swore every morning at 7.07 (when 
it rained boiling water as enthusiastically as though it had 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

never done such a thing before) that he was going to 
Chihuahua, mining. There was Cock-eye Corbett, an ex- 
sailor, who was immoral and a Lancashireman, and knew 
more about blackbirding and copra and Kanakas, and 
the rum-holes from Nagasaki to Mombasa, than it is heathy 
for a civil servant to know. 

Every Sunday a sad-faced man with ash-coloured hair 
and bony fingers, who had been a lieutenant in the Peru- 
vian navy, a teacher in St. John's College, China, and a 
sub-contractor for railway construction in Montana, and 
who was now a minor clerk in the cool, lofty offices of the 
Materials and Supplies Department, came over from 
Colon, relaxed in a tilted-back chair, and fingered the 
Masonic charm on his horsehair watch-guard, while he 
talked with the P.R.R. conductor and the others about 
ruby-hunting and the Relief of Peking, and Where is 
Hector Macdonald ? and Is John Orth dead ? and Shall 
we try to climb Chimborazo ? and Creussot guns and pig- 
sticking and Swahili tribal lore. These were a few of the 
topics regarding which he had inside information. The 
others drawled about various strange things which make 
a man discontented and bring him no good. 

Carl was full member of the circle because of his tales 
of the Bowery and the Great Riley Show, and because he 
pretended to be rather an authority on motors for dirigi- 
bles, about which he read in Aeronautics at the Y.M.C.A. 
reading-room. It is true that at this time, early 1907, 
the Wrights were still working in obscurity, unknown 
even in their own Dayton, though they had a completely 
successful machine stowed away ; and as yet Glenn Cur- 
tiss had merely developed a motor for Captain Baldwin's 
military dirigible. But Langley and Maxim had en- 
deavoured to launch power-driven, heavier-than-air 
machines; lively Santos Dumont had flipped about the 
Eiffel Tower in his dirigible, and actually raised himself 
from the ground in a ponderous aeroplane ; and in May, 
1907, a sculptor named Delagrange flew over six hundred 
feet in France. Various crank inventors were " solving 
the problem of flight " every day. Man was fluttering on 

152 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the edge of his earthy nest, ready to plunge into the air. 
Carl was able to make technical-sounding predictions 
which caught the imaginations of the restless children. 

The adventurers kept moving. The beach-combing ex- 
sailor said that he was starting for Valparaiso, started for 
San Domingo, and landed in Tahiti, whence he sent Carl one 
post card, worded, " What price T.T. ? " The engineer 
from Boston Tech. kept his oath about mining in Chihuahua. 
He got the appointment as assistant superintendent of 
the Tres Reyes mine and he took Carl with him. 

Carl reached Mexico and breathed the air of high-lying 
desert and hill. He found rare days, purposeless and 
wonderful as the voyages of ancient Norse Ericsens ; days 
of learning Spanish and sitting quietly balancing a .32-20 
Marlin, waiting for bandits to attack ; the joy of repairing 
machinery and helping to erect a new crusher, nursing 
peons with broken legs, and riding cow-ponies down black 
mountain trails at night under an exhilarating splendour 
of stars. It never seemed to him that the machinery 
desecrated the mountain's stern grandeur. 

Stolen hours he gave to the building of box-kites with 
cambered wings, after rapturously learning, in the autumn 
of 1908, that in August a lanky American mechanic named 
Wilbur Wright had startled the world by flying an aeroplane 
many miles publicly in France ; that before this, on July 
4, 1908, another Yankee mechanic, Glenn Curtiss, had 
covered nearly a mile, for the Scientific American trophy, 
after a series of trials made in company with Alexander 
Graham Bell, J. A. D. McCurdy, " Casey " Baldwin, and 
Augustus Post. 

He might have gone on until death, dealing with ex- 
citable greasers and hysterical machinery, but for the 
coming of a new mine superintendent one of those English- 
men, stolid, red-moustached, pipe-smoking, eyebrow-lifting, 
who at first seem beefily dull, but prove to have known 
every one from George Moore to Marconi. He inspected 
Carl hundreds of times, then told him that the period 
had come when he ought to attack a city, conquer it, 

153 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

build up a reputation cumulatively ; that he needed a 
contrast to Platonians and Bowery rotters and tropical 
tramps, and even to his beloved engineers. 

" You can do everything but order a petit diner d deux, 
but you must learn to do that, too. Go make ten thou- 
sand pounds and study Pall Mall and the boulevards, and 
then come back to us in Mexico. I'll be sorry for you 
to go with your damned old silky hair like a woman's and 
your wink when Guittrez comes up here to threaten us 
but don't let the hinterland enslave you too early." 

A month later, in January, 1909, aged twenty-three 
and a half, Carl was steaming out of El Paso for Cali- 
fornia, with one thousand dollars in savings, a beautiful 
new Stetson hat, and an ambition to build up a motor 
business in San Francisco. As the desert sky swam with 
orange light and a white-browed woman in the seat behind 
him hummed Musetta's song from " La Boheme " he was 
home -sick for the out landers, whom he was deserting that 
he might stick for twenty years in one street and grub 
out a hundred thousand dollars. 



154 



CHAPTER XVII 

ON a grassy side-street of Oakland, California, was 
" Jones & Ericson's Garage : Petrol and Repairs : 
Motor Cycles and Bicycles for Hire : Oakland Agents for 
Bristow Magnetos." 

It was perhaps the cleverest garage in Oakland and 
Berkeley for the quick repairing of motor-cycles ; and 
newly-wed owners of family runabouts swore that Carl 
Ericson could make a carburettor out of a tomato-can, and 
even be agreeable when called on for repairs at 2 a.m. 
He had doubled old Jones's business during the nine 
months February to November, 1909 that they had 
been associated. 

Carl believed that he thought of nothing but work and 
the restaurants and theatres of civilization. No more 
rolling for him until he had gathered moss ! He played 
that he was a confirmed business man. The game had 
hypnotized him for nearly a year. He whistled as he 
cleaned plugs, and glanced out at the eucalyptus-trees 
and the sunny road, without wanting to run away. But 
just to-day, just this glorious rain-cleansed November 
day, with high blue skies and sunlight on the feathery 
pepper-trees, he was going to sneak away from work and 
have a celebration all by himself. 

He was going down to San Mateo to see his first flying 
machine ! 

November, 1909. Bleriot had crossed the English 
Channel ; McCurdy had, in March, 1909, calmly pegged 
off sixteen miles in the " Silver Dart " biplane ; Paulhan 
had gone eighty-one miles, and had risen to the incredible 
height of five hundred feet, to be overshadowed by 
Orville Wright's sixteen hundred feet ; Glenn Curtiss had 
won the Gordon Bennett cup at Rheims. 

California was promising to be in the van of aviation. 
She was remembering that her own Montgomery had been 
one of the pioneers. Los Angeles was planning a giant 
meeting for January. A dozen cow-pasture aviators were 
taking credulous young reporters aside and confiding 

155 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

that next day, or next week, or at latest next month, 
they would startle the world by ascending in machines 
" on entirely new and revolutionary principles, on which 
they had been working for ten years. 1 ' Sometimes it was 
for eight years they had been working. But always they 
remarked that " the model from which the machine will 
be built has flown perfectly in the presence of some of the 
most prominent men in the locality/' These machines 
had a great deal to do with the mysterious qualities of 
gyroscopes and helicopters. 

Now, Dr. Josiah Bagby, the San Francisco physician 
and oil-burning-marine-engine magnate, had really brought 
three genuine Bleriot monoplanes from France, with 
Carmeau, graduate of the Bleriot school and licensed 
French aviator, for working pilot ; and was experiment- 
ing with them at San Matco, near San Francisco, where 
the grandsons of the Forty-niners play polo. It had 
been rumoured that he would open a school for pilots and 
build Bl^riot-type monoplanes for the American market. 

Carl had lain awake for an hour the night before, pictur- 
ing the wonder of flight that he hoped to see. He rose 
early, put on his best garments, and informed grumpy 
old Jones that he was off for a frolic he wasn't sure, he 
said whether he would get drunk or get married. He 
crossed the bay, glad of the sea-gulls, the glory of Mt. 
Tamalpais, and San Francisco's hill behind fairy hill. He 
consumed a Pacific sundae, with a feeling of holiday, and 
hummed " Mandalay." On the tram to San Mateo he 
read over and over the newspaper accounts of Bagby's 
monoplanes. 

Walking through San Mateo, Carl swung his cocky 
green hat and scanned the sky for aircraft. He saw none. 
But as he tramped out on the flying-field he began to 
run at the sight of two wide, cambered wings, rounded 
at the ends like the end of one's thumb, attached to a 
fragile long body of open framework. Men were gathered 
about it. A man with a short, crisp beard and a tight 
woollen toboggan-cap was seated in the body, the wings 
stretching on either side of him. He scratched his beard 

156 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and gesticulated. A mechanic revolved the propeller, and 
the unmuffled motor burst out with a trrrrrrrr whose 
music rocked Carl's heart. Black smoke hurled back along 
the machine. The draught tore at the hair of two men 
crouched on the ground holding the tail. They let go. 
The monoplane ran forward along the ground, and suddenly 
was off it, a foot up, ten feet up really flying. Carl 
could see the aviator calmly staring ahead, working his 
arms, as the machine turned and slipped away over dis- 
tant trees. 

His first impression of an aeroplane in the air had noth- 
ing to do with birds or dragon-flies or the miracle of it, 
because he was completely absorbed in an impression of 
Carl Ericson, which he expressed after this wise : 
" I am going to be an aviator ! " 
And later, " Yes, that's what I've always wanted/' 
He joined the group in front of the hangar-tent. Work- 
men were hammering on wooden sheds behind it. He 
recognized the owner, Dr. Bagby, from his pictures : a 
lean man of sixty with a sallow complexion, a grey mous- 
tache like a rat-tail, a broad, black countrified slouch- 
hat on the back of his head, a grey sack-suit which would 
have been respectable but unfashionable at any period 
whatsoever. He looked like a country lawyer who had 
served two terms in the state legislature. His shoes 
were black, but not blackened, and had no toe-caps the 
comfortable shoes of an oldish man. He was tapping 
his teeth with a thin corded forefinger and remarking in a 
monotonous voice to a Mexican youth plump and polite 
and well dressed, " Wel-M-1, Tony, I guess those plugs 
were better ; I guess those plugs were better. Heh ? " 
Bagby turned to the others, marvelled at them as if trying 
to remember who they were, and said, slowly, " I guess 
those plugs were all right. Heh ? " 

The monoplane was returning, for a time apparently 
not moving, like a black mark painted on the great blue 
sky ; then soaring overhead, the sharply cut outlines 
clear as a pen-and-ink drawing ; then landing, bouncing 
on the slightly uneven ground. 

157 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

As the French aviator climbed out, Dr. Bagby's sad 
face brightened and he suggested : " Those plugs went 
better, Munseer. Heh ? I've been thinking. Maybe 
you been giving her too rich a mixture/' 

While they were wiping the Gn6me engine Carl shyly 
approached Dr. Bagby. He felt frightfully an outsider ; 
wondered if he could ever be intimate with the magician 
as was the plump Mexican youth they called " Tony." 
He said, " Uh " once or twice, and blurted, " I want to be 
an aviator." 

" Yes, yes/ 1 said Dr. Bagby, gently, glancing away 
from Carl to the machine. He went over, twanged a 
supporting-wire, and seemed to remember that someone 
had spoken to him. He returned to the fevered Carl, 
walking sidewise, staring all the while at the resting mono- 
plane, so efficient, yet so quiet now and slender and 
feminine. " Yes, yes. So you'd like to be an aviator. 

So you'd like like (Hey, boy, don't touch that !) 

to be an aviator. Yes, yes. They all would, m' boy. 
They all would. Well, maybe you can be, some day. 
Maybe you can be. ... Some day." 

" I mean now. Right away. Heard you were going 
t' start a school. Want to join." 

" H'm, h'm/' sighed Dr. Bagby, tapping his teeth, jingling 
his heavy gold watch-chain, brushing a trail of cigar-ashes 
from a lapel, then staring abstractedly at Carl, who was 
turning his hat swiftly round and round, so flushed of 
cheek, so excited of eye, that he seemed twenty instead of 
twenty-four. " Yes, yes, so you'd like to join. Tst. 
But that would cost you five hundred dollars, you 
know." 

" Right ! " 

" Well, you go talk to Munseer about it ; Munseer 
Carmeau. He is a very good aviator. He is a licensed 
aviator. He knows Henry Farman. He studied under 
Bl&riot. He is the boss here. I'm just the poor old 
fellow that stands around. Sometimes Munseer takes me 
up for a little ride in our machine ; sometimes he takes me 
up ; but he is the boss. He is the boss, my friend ; you'll 

158 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

have to see him." And Dr. Bagby walked away, appar- 
ently much discouraged about life. 

Carl was not discouraged about life. He swore that 
now he would be an aviator even if he had to go to Dayton 
or Hammondsport or France. 

He returned to Oakland. He sold his share in the 
garage for $1,150. 

Before the end of January he was enrolled as a student 
in the Bagby School of Aviation and Monoplane Building. 

On an impulse he wrote of his wondrous happiness to 
Gertie Cowles, but he tore up the letter. Then proudly 
he wrote to his father that the lost boy had found him- 
self. For the first time in all his desultory writing of 
home-letters he did not feel impelled to defend himself. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

were the surroundings where Carmeau turned 
some of the best monoplane pilots America 
will ever see. There were two rude shed-hangars in which 
they kept the three imported Bleriots a single-seat racer 
of the latest type, a Bleriot XII. passenger-carrying 
machine with the seat under the plane, and " P'tite Marie/' 
the school machine, which they usually kept throttled 
down to four hundred or five hundred, but in which Car- 
meau made such spirited flights as the one Carl had first 
witnessed. Behind the hangars was the workshop, 
which had little architecture, but much machinery. Here 
the pupils were building two BleYiot-type machines, and 
trying to build an eight-cylinder V motor. All these 
things had Bagby given for the good of the game, expect- 
ing no profit in return. He was one of the real martyrs 
of aviation, this sapless, oldish man, never knowing the 
joy of the air, yet devoting a lifetime of ability to helping 
man sprout wings and become superman. 

His generosity did not extend to living-quarters. Most 
of the students lived at the hangars and dined on Ham- 
burg sandwiches, fried eggs, and Mexican enchiladas, 
served at a lunch-wagon anchored near the field. That 
lunch-wagon was their club. Here, squatted on high 
stools, treating one another to ginger-ale, they argued 
over torque and angles of incidence and monoplanes v. 
biplanes. Except for two unpopular aristocrats who 
found boarding-houses in San Mateo, they slept in the 
hangars, in their overalls, sprawled on mattresses covered 
with horse-blankets. It was bed at eight-thirty. At four 
or five Carmeau would crawl out, scratch his beard, start 
a motor, and set every dog in the neighbourhood howling. 
The students would gloomily clump over to the lunch- 
wagon for a ham-and-egg breakfast. The first flights 
began at dawn, if the day was clear. At eight, when the 
wind was coming up, they would be heard in the workshop, 
adjusting and readjusting, machining down bearings, test- 
ing wing-strength, humming and laughing and busy ; a 

160 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

life of petrol and hammers and straining attempts to get 
balance exactly right ; a happy life of good fellows and 
the achievements of machinery and preparation for daring 
the upper air ; a life of very ordinary mechanics and of 
sheer romance ! 

It is a grievous heresy that aviation is most romantic 
when the aviator is portrayed as a young god of noble 
rank and a collar high and spotless, carelessly driving a 
transatlantic machine of perfect efficiency. The real 
romance is that a perfectly ordinary young man, the sort 
of young man who cleans your car at the garage, a pro- 
saically real young man wearing overalls faded to a thin 
blue, splitting his infinitives, and frequently having for 
idol a bouncing ingenue, should, in a rickety structure of 
wood and percale, be able to soar miles in the air and fulfil 
the dream of all the creeping ages. 

In English and American fiction there are now nearly 
as many aeroplanes as rapiers or roses. The fictional 
aviators are society amateurs, wearers of evening clothes, 
frequenters of The Club, journalists and civil engineers 
and lordlings and international agents and gentlemen 
detectives, who drawl, " Oh yes, I fly a bit new sensa- 
tion, y' know tired of polo " ; and immediately there- 
after use the aeroplane to raid arsenals, rescue a maiden 
from robbers or a large ruby from its lawful but heathenish 
possessors, or prevent a Zeppelin from raiding the coast. 
But they never by any chance fly these machines before 
gum-chewing thousands for hire. In England they abso- 
lutely must motor from The Club to the flying-field in a 
" powerful Rolls-Royce car." The British aviators of 
fiction are usually from Oxford and Eton. They are splen- 
didly languid and modest and smartly dressed in society, 
but when they condescend to an adventure or to a coin- 
cidence, they are very devils, six feet of steel and sinew, 
boys of the bulldog breed with a strong trace of humming- 
bird. Like their English kindred, the Americans take 
up aviation only for gentlemanly sport. And they do 
go about rescuing things. Nothing is safe from their 
rescuing. But they do not have Rolls-Royce cars. 

161 L 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl and his class at Bagby's were not of this gilded 
race. Carl's flying was as sordidly real as laying brick 
for a one-story laundry in a mill-town. Therefore, being 
real, it was romantic and miraculous. 

Among Carl's class was Hank Odell, the senior student, 
tall, thin, hopelessly plain of face ; a drawling, rough- 
haired, eagle-nosed Yankee, who grinned shyly and whose 
Adam's apple worked slowly up and down when you 
spoke to him ; an unimaginative lover of dogs and ma- 
chinery ; the descendant of Lexington and Gettysburg and 
a flinty Vermont farm ; an ex-fireman, ex-sergeant of the 
army, and ex-teamster. He always wore a khaki shirt 
the wrinkles of which caught the grease in black lines, 
like veins with black trousers, blunt-toed shoes, and a 
pipe, the most important part of his costume. 

There was the round, anxious, polite Mexican, Tony 
Beanno, called " Tony Bean " wealthy, simple, fond of 
the violin and of fast motoring. There was the " school 
grouch,' 1 surly Jack Ryan, the chunky ex-chauffeur. 
There were seven nondescripts a clever Jew from Seattle, 
two college youngsters, an apricot-rancher's son, a circus 
acrobat who wanted a new line of tricks, a dull ensign 
detailed by the navy, and an earnest student of aerody- 
namics, aged forty, who had written marvellously dull 
books on air-currents and had shrinkingly made himself 
a fair balloon pilot. The navy ensign and the student 
were the snobs who lived away from the hangars, in board- 
ing-houses. 

There was Lieutenant Forrest Haviland, detailed by 
the army Haviland the perfect gentle knight, the well- 
beloved, the nearest approach to the gracious fiction 
aviator of them all, yet never drawling in affected modesty, 
never afraid of grease ; smiling and industrious and re- 
ticent ; smooth of hair and cameo of face ; wearing khaki 
riding-breeches and tan puttees instead of overalls ; always 
a gentleman, even when he tried to appear a workman. 
He pretended to be enthusiastic about the lunch-wagon, 
and never referred to his three generations of army officers. 
But most of the others were shy of him, and Jack Ryan, 

162 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the " school grouch/' was always trying to get him into 
a fight. 

Finally, there was Carl Ericson, who slowly emerged 
as star of them all. He knew less of aerodynamics than 
the timid specialist, less of practical mechanics than Hank 
Odell ; but he loved the fun of daring more. He was less 
ferocious in competition than was Jack Ryan, but he 
wasted less of his nerve. He was less agile than the circus 
acrobat, but knew more of motors. He was less com- 
pactly easy than Lieutenant Haviland, but he took better 
to overalls and sleeping in hangars and mucking in grease 
he whistled ragtime while Forrest Haviland hummed 
MacDowell. 

Carl's earliest flights were in the school machine, " P'tite 
Marie/' behind Carmeau, the instructor. Reporters 
were always about, talking of " impressions/' and Carl 
felt that he ought to note his impressions on his first ascent, 
but all that he actually did notice was that it was hard 
to tell at what instant they left the ground ; that when 
they were up, the wind threatened to crush his ribs and 
burst his nostrils ; that there must be something perilously 
wrong, because the machine climbed so swiftly ; and, 
when they were down, that it had been worth waiting a 
whole lifetime for the flight. 

For days he merely flew with the instructor, till he was 
himself managing the controls. At last, his first flight by 
himself. 

He had been ordered to try a flight three times about 
the aerodrome at a height of sixty feet, and to land care- 
fully, without pancaking " and be sure, Monsieur, be 
veree sure you do not cut off too high from the ground," 
said Carmeau. 

It was a day when five reporters had gathered, and Carl 
felt very much in the limelight, waiting in the nacelle of 
the machine for the time to start. The propeller was 
revolved, Carl drew a long breath and stuck up his hand 
and the engine stopped. He was relieved. It had seemed 
a terrific responsibility to go up alone. He wouldn't 

163 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

now, not for a minute or two. He knew that he had been 
afraid. The engine was turned over once more and 
once more stopped. Carl raged, and never again, in all 
his flying, did real fear return to him. " What the deuce 
is the matter ? " he snarled. Again the propeller was re- 
volved, and this time the engine hummed sweet. The 
monoplane ran along the ground, its tail lifting in the 
blast, till the whole machine seemed delicately poised on 
its tiptoes. He was off the ground, his rage leaving him 
as his fear had left him. 

He exulted at the swiftness with which a distant group 
of trees shot at him, under him. He turned, and the 
machine mounted a little on the turn, which was against 
the rules. But he brought her to even keel so easily that 
he felt all the mastery of the man who has finally learned 
to be natural on a bicycle. He tilted up the elevator 
slightly and shot across a series of fields, climbing. It 
was perfectly easy. He would go up up. It was all 
automatic now cloche toward him for climbing ; away 
from him for descent ; toward the wing that tipped up, 
in order to bring it down to level. The machine obeyed 
perfectly. And the foot-bar, for steering to right and 
left, responded to such light motions of his foot. He 
grinned exultantly. He wanted to shout. 

He glanced at the barometer and discovered that he 
was up to two hundred feet. Why not go on ? 

He sailed out across San Mateo, and the sense of people 
below, running and waving their hands, increased his 
exultation. He curved about at the end, somewhat 
afraid of his ability to turn, but having all the air there 
was to make the turn in, and headed back toward the 
aerodrome. Already he had flown five miles. 

Half a mile from the aerodrome he realized that his 
motor was slackening, missing fire ; that he did not know 
what was the matter ; that his knowledge had left him 
stranded there, two hundred feet above ground ; that he 
had to come down at once, with no chance to choose a 
landing-place and no experience in gliding. The motor 
stopped altogether. 

164 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

The ground was coming up at him too quickly. 

He tilted the elevator, and rose. But as he was vol- 
planing, this cut down the speed, and from a height of ten 
feet above a field the machine dropped to the ground 
with a flat plop. Something gave way but Carl sat 
safe, with the machine canted to one side. 

He climbed out, cold about the spine, and discovered 
that he had broken one wheel of the landing-chassis. 

All the crowd from the flying-field were running toward 
him, yelling. He grinned at the foolish sight they made 
with their legs and arms strewn about in the air as they 
galloped over the rough ground. Lieutenant Haviland 
came up, panting : " All right, o' man ? Good ! " He 
seized Carl's hand and wrung it. Carl knew that he had 
a new friend. 

Three reporters poured questions on him. How far 
had he flown ? Was this really his first ascent by him- 
self ? What were his sensations ? How had his motor 
stopped ? Was it true he was a mining engineer, a wealthy 
motorist ? 

Hank Odell, the shy, eagel-nosed Yankee, running up 
as jerkily as a cow in a ploughed field, silently patted Carl 
on the shoulder and began to examine the fractured land- 
ing-wheel. At last the instructor, M. Carmeau. 

Carl had awaited M. Carmeau 's praise as the crown 
of his long flight. But Carmeau pulled his beard, opened 
his mouth once or twice, then shrieked : " What the davil 
you t'ink you are ? A millionaire that we build machines 
for you to smash them ? I tole you to fly t'ree time around 
you fly to Algiers an' back you t'ink you are another 
Farman brother you are a damn fool ! Suppose your 
motor he stop while you flyover San Mateo ? Where you 
land ? In a well ? In a chimney ? Hein ? You know 
naut'ing yet. Next time you do what I tal' you. Zut ! 
That was a flight, a flight, you make a flight, that was 
fine, fine, you make the heart to swell. But nex' time 
you break the chassis and keel yourself, nom d'un tonnerre, 
I scol' you ! " 

Carl was humble. But the Courier reporter spread 

165 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

upon the front page the story of " Marvellous first flight 
by Bagby student/' and predicted that a new Curtiss was 
coming out of California. Under a half-tone ran the 
caption, " Ericson, the New Hawk of the Birdmen." 

The camp promptly nicknamed him ' ' Hawk. ' ' They used 
it for plaguing him at first, but it survived as an expres- 
sion of fondness Hawk Ericson, the cheeriest man in the 
school, and the coolest flier. 



166 



CHAPTER XIX 

NOT all their days were spent in work. There 
were mornings when the wind would not per- 
mit an ascent and when there was nothing to do 
in the workshop. They sat about the lunch-wagon 
wrangling endlessly, or, like Carl and Forrest Haviland, 
wandered through fields which were all one flame with 
poppies. 

Lieutenant Haviland had given up trying to feel com- 
fortable with the naval ensign student, who was one of 
the solemn worthies who clear their throats before speaking 
and then speak in measured terms of brands of cigars and 
weather. Gradually, working side by side with Carl, 
Haviland seemed to find him a friend in whom to con- 
fide. Once or twice they went by tram to San Fran- 
cisco, to explore Chinatown or drop in on soldier friends 
of Haviland at the Presidio. 

From the porch of a studio on Telegraph Hill, in San 
Francisco, they were looking down on the islands of the 
bay, waiting for the return of an artist whom Haviland 
knew. Inarticulate dreamers both, they expressed in 
monosyllables the glory of bluewater before them, the 
tradition of R. L. S. and Frank Norris, the future of avia- 
tion. They gave up the attempt to explain the magic of 
San Francisco that city-personality which transcends 
the opal hills and rare amber sunlight, festivals, and the 
transplanted Italian hill-town of Telegraph Hill, liners 
sailing out for Japan, and memories of the Forty-niners. 
It was too subtle a spirit, too much of it lay in human life 
with the passion of the Riviera linked to the strength 
of the North, for them to be able to comprehend its spell, 
. . . But regarding their own ambitions to do, they 
became eloquent. 

" I say," hesitated Haviland, " why is it I can't get in 
with most of the fellows at the camp the way you can ? 
I've always been chummy enough with the fellows at the 
Point and at posts/ 

167 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Because you've been brought up to be afraid to be 
anything but a gentleman/' 

" Oh, I don't think it's that. I can get fond as the 
deuce of some of the commonest common soldiers and, 
Lord ! some of them come from the Bowery and all sorts 
of impossible places." 

" Yes, but you always think of them as ' common.' 
They don't think of each other that way. Suppose I'd 
worked Well, just suppose I'd been a Bowery bar- 
tender. Could you be loafing around here with me ? Could 
you go off on a bat with Jack Ryan ? " 

" Well, maybe not. Maybe working with Jack Ryan 
is a good thing for me. I'm getting now so I can almost 
stand his stories ! I envy you, knocking around with all 
sorts of people. Oh, I wish I could call Ryan ' Jack ' and 
feel easy about it. I can't. Perhaps I've got a little of 
the subaltern snob some place in me." 

" You ? You're a prince." 

"If you've elevated me to a princedom, the least I can 
do is to invite you down home for a week-end down to 
the San Spirito Presidio. My father's commandant 
there." 

" Oh, I'd like to, but I haven't got a dress-suit." 

" Buy one." 

" Yes, I could do that, but Oh, rats ! Forrest, 

I've been knocking around so long I feel shy about my 
table manners and everything. I'd probably eat pie with 
my fingers." 

" You make me so darn tired, Hawk. You talk about 
my having to learn to chum with people in overalls. 
You've got to learn not to let people in evening clothes 
put anything over on you. That's your difficulty from 
having lived in the back-country these last two or three 
years. You have an instinct for manners. But I did 
notice that as soon as you found out I was in the army 
you spent half the time disliking me as a militarist, and 
the other half expecting me to be haughty Lord knows 
what over. It took you two weeks to think of me as 
Forrest Haviland. I'm ashamed of you ! If you're a 

168 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

socialist you ought to think that anything you like belongs 
to you." 

11 That's a new kind of socialism." 

" So much the better. Me and Karl Marx, the economic 
inventors. . . . But I was saying : if you act as though 
things belong to you people will apologize to you for 
having borrowed them from you. And you've got to do 
that, Hawk. You're going to be one of the best-known 
fliers in the country, and you'll have to meet all sorts 
of big guns generals and Senators and female climbers 
that work the peace societies for social position, and so 
on, and you've got to know how to meet them. . . . Any- 
way, I want you to come to San Spirito." 

To San Spirito they went. During the three days pre- 
ceding, Carl was agonized at the thought of having to be 
polite in the presence of ladies. No matter how brusquely 
he told himself, " I'm as good as anybody," he was uneasy 
about forks and slang and finger-nails, and looked forward 
to the ordeal with as much pleasure as a man about to be 
hanged, hanged in a good cause, but thoroughly. 

Yet when Colonel Haviland met them at San Spirito 
station, and Carl heard the kindly salutation of the 
gracious, fat, old Indian-fighter, he knew that he had at 
last come home to his own people an impression that 
was the stronger because the house of Oscar Ericson had 
been so much house and so little home. The colonel was 
a widower, and for his only son he showed a proud affec- 
tion which included Carl. The three of them sat in state, 
after dinner, on the porch of Quarters No. i, smoking 
cigars and looking down to a spur of the Santa Lucia 
Mountains, where it plunged into the foam of the Pacific. 
They talked of aviation and eugenics and the Bent- 
Mercier gun, of the post doctor's sister who had come 
from the East on a visit, and of a riding-test, but their 
hearts spoke of affection. . . Usually it is a man and a 
woman that make home ; but three men, a stranger one 
of them, talking of motors on a porch in the enveloping 
dusk, made for one another a home to remember always. 

They stayed over Monday night, for a hop, and Carl 

169 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

found that the officers and their wives were as approach- 
able as Hank Odell. They did not seem to be waiting 
for young Ericson to make social errors. When he con- 
fessed that he had forgotten what little dancing he knew, 
the sister of the post doctor took him in hand, retaught 
him the waltz, and asked with patent admiration : " How 
does it feel to fly ? Don't you get frightened ? I'm ter- 
ribly in awe of you and Mr. Haviland. I know I should 
be frightened to death, because it always makes me dizzy 
just to look down from a high building." 

Carl slipped away, to be happy by himself, and hid in 
the shadow of palms on the porch, lapped in the flutter 
of pepper- trees. The orchestra began a waltz that set 
his heart singing. He heard a girl cry : " Oh, goody ! 
the ' Blue Danube ' ! We must go in and dance that/' 

" The Blue Danube." The name brought back the 
novels of General Charles King, as he had read them in 
high-school days ; flashed the picture of a lonely post, 
yellow-lighted, like a topaz on the night-swathed desert ; 
a rude ball-room, a young officer dancing to the " Blue 
Danube's " intoxication ; a hot-riding, dusty courier, 
hurling in with news of an Apache outbreak ; a few minutes 
later a troop of cavalry slanting out through the gate on 
horseback, with a farewell burning the young officer's 
lips. . . . He was in just such an army story, now ! 

The scent of royal climbing-roses enveloped Carl as 
that picture changed into others. San Spirito Presidio 
became a vast military encampment over which Hawk 
Ericson was flying. . . . From his monoplane he saw a 
fairy town, with red roofs rising to a tower of fantastic 
turrets. (That was doubtless the memory of a magazine- 
cover painted by Maxfield Parrish.) . . . He was wander- 
ing through a poppy-field with a girl dusky of eyes, soft 
black of hair, ready for any jaunt. . . . Pictures bright 
and various as tropic shells, born of music and peace and 
his affection for the Havilands ; pictures which promised 
him the world. For the first time Hawk Ericson realized 
that he might be a Personage instead of a back-yard 
boy. . . . The girl with twilight eyes was smiling. 

170 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

The Bagby camp broke up on the first of May, with all 
of them, except one of the nondescript collegians and the 
air-current student, more or less trained aviators. Carl 
was going out to tour small cities, for the George Flying 
Corporation. Lieutenant Haviland was detailed to the 
army flying-camp. 

Parting with Haviland and kindly Hank Odell, with 
Carmeau and anxiously polite Tony Bean, was as wistful 
as the last night of senior year. Till the old moon rose, 
sad behind tulip-trees, they sat on packing-boxes by the 
larger hangar, singing in close harmony " Sweet Adeline," 
" Teasing/' " I've Been Working on the Railway." . . . 
" Hay-ride classics, with barber-shop chords," the songs 
are called, but tears were in Carl's eyes as the minors 
sobbed from the group of comrades who made fun of one 
another and we^e prosaic and pounded their heels on the 
packing-boxes and knew that they were parting to face 
death. Carl felt Forrest Haviland's hand on one shoulder, 
then an awkward pat from tough Jack Ryan's paw, as- 
Tony Bean's violin turned the plaintive half-light into 
music, and broke its heart in the " Moonlight Sonata." 



171 



CHAPTER XX 

piston-ring burnt off and put the exhaust- 
valve on the blink. That means one cylinder 
out of business," growled Hawk Ericson. " I could 
fly, maybe, but I don't like to risk it in this wind. It 
was bad enough this morning when I tried it." 

" Oh, this hick town's going to be the death of us, 
all right and Riverport to-morrow, with a contract 
nice as pie, if we can only get there," groaned his manager, 
Dick George, a fat man with much muscle and more 
diamonds. " Listen to that crowd. Yelling for blood. 
Sounds like a bunch of lumber-jacks with the circus slow 
in starting." 

The head-line feature of the Onamwaska County spring 
fair was " Hawk Ericson, showing the most marvellous 
aerial feats of the ages with the scientific marvels of avia- 
tion, in his famous French Bleriot flying-machine, the first 
flying-machine ever seen in this state, no balloon or fake, 
come to Onamwaska by the St. L. & N." The spring 
fair was usually a small gathering of farmers to witness 
races and new agricultural implements, but this time 
every road for thirty-five miles was dust-fogged with 
buggies and wagons and small motor-cars. Ten thou- 
sand people were packed about the race-track. 

It was Carl's third aviation event. A neat, though 
not imposing figure, in a snug blue flannel suit, with his 
cap turned round on his head, he went to the flap of the 
rickety tent which served as his hangar. A fierce cry 
of " Fly ! Fly ! Why don't he fly ? " was coming from 
the long black lines edging the track, and from the mound 
of people on the small grand-stand ; the pink blur of 
their faces turned toward him him, Carl Ericson ; all 
of them demanding him I The five meek police of Onam- 
waska were trotting back and forth, keeping them behind 
the barriers. Carl was apprehensive lest this ten-thou- 
sandfold demand drag him out, make him fly, despite 
a wind that was blowing the flags out straight, and whisk- 
ing up the litter of newspapers and cracker-jack boxes 

172 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and pink programmes. While he stared out, an official 
crossing the track fairly leaned up against the wind, 
which seized his hat and sailed it to the end of the track, 

" Some wind ! " Carl grunted, stolidly, and went to 
the back of the silent tent, to reread the local papers' 
accounts of his arrival at Onamwaska. It was a pic- 
turesque narrative of the cheering mob following him 
down the street (" Gee ! that was me they followed ! "), 
crowding into the office of the Astor House and making 
him autograph hundreds of cards ; of girls throwing 
roses (" Humph ! geraniums is more like it ! ") from 
the windows. 

" A young man," wrote an enthusiastic female reporter, 
" handsome as a Greek god, but honestly I believe he 
is still in his twenties ; and he is as slim and straight 
as a soldier, flaxen-haired and rosy-cheeked the bird- 
man, the god of the air/' 

" Handsome as a Greek " Carl commented. " I 

look like a Minnesota Norwegian, and that ain't so bad, 

but handsome Urrrrrg ! . . . Sure they love me, 

all right. Hear 'em yell. Oh, they love me like a dog 
does a bone. . . . Saint Jemima ! talk about football 
rooting. . . . Come on, Greek god, buck up." 

He glanced wearily about the tent, its flooring of long, 
dry grass stained with ugly dark-blue lubricating-oil, 
under the tan light coming through the canvas. His 
manager was sitting on a suit-case, pretending to read 
a newspaper, but pinching his lower lip and consulting 
his watch, jogging his foot ceaselessly. Their temporary 
mechanic, who had given up trying to repair the lame 
valve, squatted with bent head, biting his lip, hearkening 
to the blood-hungry mob. Carl's own nerves grew tauter 
and tauter as he saw the manager's restless foot and 
the mechanic's tension. He strolled to the monoplane, 
his back to the tent-opening. 

He started as the manager exclaimed : " Here they 
come ! After us ! " 

Outside the tent a sound of running. 

The secretary of the fair, a German hardware-dealer 

173 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

with an automobile-cap like a yachting-cap, panted in, 
gasping : " Come quick ! They won't wait any longer ! 
I been trying to calm 'em down, but they say you got 
to fly. They're breaking over the barriers into the track. 
The p'lice can't keep 'em back." 

Behind the secretary came the chairman of the enter- 
tainment committee, a popular dairyman, who was pale 
as he demanded : " You got to play ball, Mr. Ericson. 
I won't guarantee what '11 happen if you don't play ball, 
Mr. Ericson. You got to make him fly, Mr. George. 
The crowd's breaking " 

Behind him charged a black press of people. They 
packed before the tent, trying to peer in through the 
half-closed tent-opening, like a crowd about a house 
where a policeman is making an arrest. Furiously : 

" Where's the coward ? Fake ! Bring 'im out ! Why 
don't he fly ? He's a fake ! His flying-machine's never 
been off. the ground ! He's a four-flusher ! Run 'im 
out of town ! Fake ! Fake ! Fake ' " 

The secretary and chairman stuck out deprecatory 
heads and coaxed the mob. Carl's manager was an 
old circus-man. He had removed his collar, tie, and 
flashy diamond pin, and was diligently wrapping the thong 
of a black-jack about his wrist. Their mechanic was 
crawling under the side of the tent. Carl caught him 
by the seat of his overalls and jerked him back. 

As Carl turned to face the tent door again the manager 
ranged up beside him, trying to conceal the black-jack 
in his hand, and casually murmuring, " Scared, Hawk ? " 

" Nope. Too mad to be scared." 

The tent-flap was pulled back. Tossing hands came 
through. The secretary and chairman were brushed 
aside. The mob-leader, a red-faced, loud-voiced town 
sport, very drunk, shouted, " Come out and fly or we'll 
tar and feather you ! " 

" Yuh, come on, you fake, you four-flusher ! " echoed 
the voices. 

The secretary and chairman were edging back into 
the tent, beside Carl's cowering mechanic. 

174 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Something broke in Carl's hold on himself. With 
his arm drawn back, his fist aimed at the point of the 
mob-leader's jaw, he snarled : " You can't make me 
fly. You stick that ugly mug of yours any farther in and 

I'll bust it. I'll fly when the wind goes down You 

would, would you ? " 

As the mob-leader started to advance, Carl jabbed 
at him. It was not a very good jab. But the leader 
stopped. The manager, black-jack in hand, caught 
Carl's arm, and ordered : " Don't start anything ! They 
can lick us. Just look ready. Don't say anything. We'll 
hold 'em till the cops come. But nix on the punch." 

" Right, Cap'n," said Carl. 

It was a strain to stand motionless, facing the crowd, 
not answering their taunts, but he held himself in, and 
in two minutes the yell came : " Cheese it ! The cops ! " 
The mob unwillingly swayed back as Onamwaska's heroic 
little band of five policemen wriggled through it, request- 
ing their neighbours to desist. . . . They entered the 
tent and, after accepting cigars from Carl's manager, 
coldly told him that Carl was a fake, and lucky to escape ; 
that Carl would better " jump right out and fly if he 
knew what was good for him." Also, they nearly arrested 
the manager for possessing a black-jack, and warned 
him that he'd better not assault any of the peaceable 
citizens of beautiful Onamwaska. . . . 

When they had coaxed the mob behind the barriers, 
by announcing that Ericson would now go up, Carl swore : 
" I won't move I They can't make me ! " 

The secretary of the fair, who had regained most of his 
courage, spoke up, pertly, " Then you better return the 
five hundred advance, pretty quick sudden, or I'll get 
an attachment on your fake flying-machine ! " 

" You go Nix, nix, Hawk, don't hit him ; he 

ain't worth it. You go to hell, brother," said the manager, 
mechanically. But he took Carl aside, and groaned : 
" Gosh ! we got to do something ! It's worth two thou- 
sand dollars to us, you know. Besides, we haven't got 
enough cash in our jeans to get out of town, and we'll 

175 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

miss the big Riverport purse. . . . Still, suit yourself, 
old man. Maybe I can get some money by wiring to 
Chicago/ 7 

" Oh, let's get it over ! " Carl sighed. " I'd love to 
disappoint Onamwaska. We'll make fifteen thousand 
dollars this month and next, anyway, and we can afford 
to spit 'em in the eye. But I don't want to leave you 
in a hole. . . . Here you, mechanic, open up that tent- 
flap. All the way across. . . . No, not like that, you 
boob ! . . . So. ... Come on, now, help me push out 
the machine. Here you, Mr. Secretary, hustle me a 
couple of men to hold her tail." 

The crowd rose, the fickle crowd, scenting the promised 
blood, and applauded as the monoplane was wheeled 
upon the track and turned to face the wind. The mechanic 
and two assistants had to hold it as a dust-filled gust 
caught it beneath the wings. As Carl climbed into the 
seat and the mechanic went forward to start the engine, 
another squall hit the machine and she almost turned 
over sidewise. 

As the machine righted, the manager ran up and begged : 
" You never in the world can make it in this wind, Hawk. 
Better not try it. I'll wire for some money to get out 
of town with, and Onamwaska can go soak its head." 

" Nope. I'm gettin' sore now, Dick. . . . Hey you, 
mechanic : hurt that wing when she tipped ? . . . All 
right. Start her. Quick. While it's calm." 

The engine whirred. The assistants let go the tail. 
The machine laboured forward, but once it left the ground 
it shot up quickly. The head-wind came in a terrific 
gust. The machine hung poised in air for a moment, 
driven back by the gale nearly as fast as it was urged 
forward by its frantically revolving propeller. 

Carl was as yet too doubtful of his skill to try to climb 
above the worst of the wind. If he could only keep a 
level course 

He fought his way up one side of the race-track. He 
crouched in his seat, meeting the sandy blast with bent 
head. The parted lips which permitted him to catch 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

his breath were stubborn and hard about his teeth. His 
hands played swiftly, incessantly, over the control as 
he brought her back to even keel. He warped the wings 
so quickly that he balanced like an acrobat sitting rock- 
ingly on a tight-wire. He was too busy to be afraid 
or to remember that there was a throng of people below 
him. But he was conscious that the grand-stand, at the 
side of the track, half-way down, was creeping toward 
him. 

More every instant did he hate the clamour of the gale 
and the stream of minute drops of oil, blown back from 
the engine, that spattered his face. His ears strained 
for misfire of the engine, if it stopped he would be hurled 
to earth. And one cylinder was not working. He for- 
got that ; kept the cloche moving ; fought the wind with 
his will as with his body. 

Now, he was aware of the grand-stand below him. 
Now, of the people at the end of the track. He flew 
beyond the track, and turned. The whole force of the 
gale was thrown behind him, and he shot back along 
the other side of the race-track at eighty or ninety miles 
an hour. Instantly he was at the end ; then a quarter 
of a mile beyond the track, over ploughed fields, where 
upward currents of warm air increased the pitching of 
the machine as he struggled to turn her again and face 
the wind. 

The following breeze was suddenly retarded and he 
dropped forty feet, tail down. 

He was only forty feet from the ground, falling straight, 
when he got back to even keel and shot ahead. How 
safe the nest of the nacelle where he sat seemed then ! 
Almost gaily he swung her in a great wavering circle 
and the wind was again in his face, hating him, pounding 
him, trying to get under the wings and turn the machine 
turtle. 

Twice more he worked his way about the track. The 
conscience of the beginner made him perform a diffident 
Dutch roll before the grand-stand, but he was growling, 
" And that's all they're going to get. See ? " 

177 M 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

As he soared to earth he looked at the crowd for the 
first time. His vision was so blurred with oil and wind- 
soreness that he saw the people only as a mass and he 
fancied that the stretch of slouch-hats and derbies was 
a field of mushrooms swaying and tilted back. He was 
curiously unconscious of the presence of women ; he 
felt all the spectators as men who had bawled for his 
death and whom he wanted to hammer as he had ham- 
mered the wind. 

He was almost down. He cut off his motor, glided 
horizontally three feet above the ground, and landed, 
while the cheers cloaked even the honking of the parked 
automobiles. 

Carl's manager, fatly galloping up, shrilled, " How 
was it, old man ? " 

" Oh, it was pretty windy/' said Carl, crawling down 
and rubbing the kinks out of his arms. " But I think 
the wind 's going down. Tell the announcer to tell our 
dear neighbours that I'll fly again at five." 

" But weren't you scared when she dropped ? You 
went down so far that the fence plumb hid you. Couldn't 
see you at all. Ugh ! Sure thought the wind had you. 
Weren't you scared then ? You don't look it." 

" Then ? Oh ! Then. Oh yes, sure, I guess I was 
scared, all right ! . . . Say, we got that seat padded 
so she's darn comfortable now." 

The crowd was collecting. Carl's manager chuckled 
to the president of the fair association, " Well, that was 
some flight, eh ? " 

" Oh, he went down the opposite side of the track pretty 
fast, but why the dickens was he so slow going up my 
side ? My eyes ain't so good now that it does me any 
good if a fellow speeds up when he's a thousand miles 
away. And where 's all these tricks in the air " 

" That," murmured Carl to his manager, " is the 
i-den-ti-cal man that stole the blind cripple's crutch to 
make himself a toothpick." 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE great Belmont Park Aero Meet, which woke New 
York to aviation, in October, 1910, was coming to an 
end. That clever new American! flier, Hawk Ericson, had 
won only sixth place in speed, but he had won first 
prize in duration, by a flight of nearly six hours, driving 
round and round and round the pylons, hour on hour, 
safe and steady as a train, never taking the risk of sensa- 
tional banking, nor spiralling like Johnstone, but amusing 
himself and breaking the tedium by keeping an eye out 
on each circuit for a fat woman in a bright lavender top- 
coat, who stood out in the dark line of people that flowed 
beneath. When he had descended acclaimed the winner 
thousands of heads turned his way as though on one 
lever ; the pink faces flashing in such October sunshine 
as had filled the back yard of Oscar Ericson, in Joralemon, 
when a lonely Carl had performed duration feats for a 
sparrow. That same shy Carl wanted to escape from 
the newspaper-men who came running toward him. He 
hated their incessant questions always the same : " Were 
you cold ? Could you have stayed up longer ? " 

Yet he had seen all New York go mad over aviation 
rather, over news about aviation. The newspapers 
had spread over front pages his name and the names 
of the other fliers. Carl chuckled to himself, with bash- 
ful awe, " Gee ! can you beat it ? that's mc\" when 
he beheld himself referred to in editorial and interview 
and picture-caption as a superman, a god. He heard 
crowds rustle, " Look, there's Hawk Ericson ! " as he 
walked along the barriers. He heard cautious predic- 
tions from fellow-fliers, and loud declarations from out- 
siders, that he was the coming cross-country champion. 
He was introduced to the mayor of New York, two Cabinet 
members, an assortment of Senators, authors, bank presi- 
dents, generals, and society rail-birds. He regularly 
escaped from them and their questions to help the 
brick-necked Hank Odell, from the Bagby School, who 
had entered for the meet, but smashed up on the first 

179 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

day, and ever since had been whistling and working over 
his machine and encouraging Carl, " Good work, bud ; 
you've got 'em all going." 

With vast secrecy and a perception that this was twice 
as stirring as steadily buzzing about in his Bleriot, he went 
down to the Bowery and, in front of the saloon where 
he had worked as a porter four years before, he bought 
a copy of the Evening World because he knew that on the 
third page of it was a large picture of him and a signed 
interview by a special-writer. He peered into the saloon 
windows to see if Petty McGuff was there, but did not 
find him. He went to the street on which he had boarded 
in the hope that he might do something for the girl who 
had been going wrong. The tenement had been torn 
down, with blocks of others, to make way for a bridge- 
terminal, and he saw the vision of the city's pitiless 
progress. This quest of old acquaintances made him 
think of Joralemon. He informed Gertie Cowles that 
he was now " in the aviation game, and everything is 
going very well." He sent his mother a cheque for five 
hundred dollars, with awkward words of affection. 

A greater spiritual adventure was talking for hours, 
over a small table in the basement of the Brevoort, to 
Lieutenant Forrest Haviland, who was attending the 
Belmont Park Meet as spectator. Theirs was the talk 
of tried friends ; droning on for a time in amused com- 
ment, rising to sudden table-pounding enthusiasms over 
aviators or explorers, with exclamations of, " Is that 
the way it struck you, too ? I'm awfully glad to hear 
you say that, because that's just the way I felt about 
it." They leaned back in their chairs and played with 
spoons and reflectively broke up matches and volubly 
sketched plans of controls, drawing on the table-cloth. 

Carl took the sophisticated atmosphere of the Brevoort 
quite for granted. Why shouldn't he be there ! And 
after the interest in him at the meet it did not hugely 
abash him to hear a group at a table behind him ejacu- 
late : " I think that's Hawk Ericson, the aviator ! Yes, 
sir, that's who it is ! " 

180 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Finally the gods gave to Carl a new mechanic, a prince 
of mechanics, Martin Dockerill. Martin was a tall, thin, 
hatchet-faced, tousle-headed, slow-spoken, irreverent 
Irish- Yankee from Fall River ; the perfect type of Ameri- 
can aviators ; for while England sends out its stately 
soldiers of the air, and France its short, excitable geniuses, 
practically all American aviators and aviation mechanics 
are either long-faced and lanky, like Martin Dockerill 
and Hank Odell, or slim, good-looking youngsters of the 
college track-team type, like Carl and Forrest Haviland. 

Martin Dockerill ate pie with his fingers, played " March- 
ing through Georgia " on the mouth-organ, admired bur- 
lesque-show women in sausage-shaped pink tights, and 
wore balbriggan socks that always reposed in wrinkles 
over the tops of his black shoes with frayed laces. But 
he probably could build a very decent motor in the dark, 
out of four tin cans and a crowbar. In A.D. 1910 he still 
believed in hell and plush albums. But he dreamed of 
wireless power-transmission. He was a Free and Inde- 
pendent American Citizen who called the Count de Lesseps, 
" Hey, Lessup." But he would have gone with Carl 
aeroplaning to the South Pole upon five minutes' notice 
four minutes to devote to the motor, and one minute 
to write, with purple indelible pencil, a post card to his 
aunt in Fall River. He was precise about only two things 
motor-timing and calling himself a " mechanician/' 
not a " mechanic." He became very friendly with Hank 
Odell ; helped him repair his broken machine, went 
with him to vaudeville, or stood with him before the 
hangar, watching the automobile parties of pretty girls 
with lordly chaperons that came to call on Grahame- 
White and Drexel. " Some heart-winners, them guys, 
but I back my boss against them and ev'body else, Hank," 
Martin would say. 

The meet was over ; the aviators were leaving. Carl 
had said farewell to his new and well-loved friends, 
the pioneers of aviation Latham, Moisant, Leblanc, 
McCurdy, Ely, de Lesseps, Mars, Willard, Drexel, Grahame- 

181 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

White, Hoxsey, and the rest. He was in the afterglow 
of the meet, for with Titherington, the Englishman, 
and Tad Warren, the Wright flier, he was going to race 
from Belmont Park to New Haven for a ten-thousand- 
dollar prize jointly offered by a New Haven millionaire 
and a New York newspaper. At New Haven the three 
competitors were to join with Tony Bean (of the Bagby 
School) and Walter MacMonnies (flying a Curtiss) in 
an exhibition meet. 

Enveloped in baggy overalls over the blue flannel suit 
which he still wore when flying, Carl was directing Martin 
Dockerill in changing his sparking-plugs, which were 
fouled. About him, the aviators were having their 
machines packed, laughing, playing tricks on one another 
boys who were virile men ; mechanics in denim who 

stammered to the reporters, " Oh, well, I don't know " 

yet who were for the time more celebrated than Roosevelt 
or Harry Thaw or Bernard Shaw or Champion Jack Johnson. 

Before 9.45 a.m., when the race to New Haven was 
scheduled to start, the newspaper-men gathered ; but 
there were not many outsiders. Carl felt the lack of 
the stimulus of thronging devotees. He worked silently 
and sullenly. It was " the morning after." He missed 
Forrest Haviland. 

He began to be anxious. Could he get off on time ? 

Exactly at 9.45 Titherington made a magnificent start 
in his Henry Farman biplane. Carl stared till the machine 
was a dot in the clouds, then worked feverishly. Tad 
Warren, the second contestant, was testing out his motor, 
ready to go. At that moment Martin Dockerill suggested 
that the carburettor was dirty. 

" I'll fly with her the way she is," Carl snapped, 
shivering with the race-fever. 

A cub reporter from the City News Association piped, 
like a fox-terrier, " What time '11 you get off, Hawk ? " 

" Ten sharp." 

" No, I mean what time will you really get off 1 " 

Carl did not answer. He understood that the reporters 
were doubtful about him, the youngster from the West 

182 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

who had been flying for only six months. At last came 
the inevitable pest, the familiarly suggestive outsider. 
A well-dressed, well-meaning old bore he was ; a complete 
stranger. He put his podgy hand on Carl's arm and 
puffed : " Well, Hawk, my boy, give us a good flight 
to-day ; not but what you're going to have trouble. 
There's something I want to suggest to you. If you'd 
use a gyroscope " 

" Oh, beat it ! " snarled Carl. He was ashamed of 
himself but more angry than ashamed. He demanded 
of Martin, aside : " All right, heh ? Can I fly with the 
carburettor as she is ? Heh ? " 

" All right, boss. Calm down, boss, calm down.' 1 

" What do you mean ? " 

" Look here, Hawk, I don't want to butt in. You can 
have old Martin for a chopping-block any time you want 
to cut wood. But if you don't calm down you'll get 
so screwed up mit nerves that you won't have any con- 
trol. Aw, come on, boss, speak pretty ! Just keep your 
shirt on and I'll hustle like a steam-engine." 

" Well, maybe you're right. But these assistant 
aviators in the crowd get me wild. . . . All right ? 
Hoorray. Here goes. . . . Say, don't stop for anything 
after I get off. Leave the boys to pack up, and you 
hustle over to Sea Cliff for the speed-boat. You ought 
to be in New Haven almost as soon as I am." 

Calmer now, he peeled off his overalls, drew a wool- 
lined leather jacket over his coat, climbed into the cock- 
pit, and inspected the indicators. As he was testing 
the spark Tad Warren got away. 

Third and last was Carl. The race-fever shook him. 

He would try to save time. Like the others, he had 
planned to fly from Belmont Park across Long Island 
to Great Neck, and cross Long Island Sound where it 
was very narrow. He studied his map. By flying across 
to the vicinity of Hempstead Harbour and making a long 
diagonal flight over water, straight over to Stamford, 
he would increase the factor of danger, but save many 
miles ; and the specifications of the race permitted him 

183 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

to choose any course to New Haven. Thinking only of 
the new route, taking time only to nod good-bye to Mar- 
tin Dockerill and Hank Odell, he was off, into the air. 

As the ground dropped beneath him and the green 
clean spaces and innumerous to\\ns of Long Island spread 
themselves out he listened to the motor. Its music was 
clear and strong. Here, at least, the wind was light. 

He would risk the long over-water flight very long 
they thought it in 1910. 

In a few minutes he sighted the hills about Roslyn 
and began to climb, up to three thousand feet. It was 
very cold. His hands were almost numb on the control. 
He descended to a thousand feet, but the machine jerked 
like a canoe shooting rapids, in the gust that swept up 
from among the hills. The landscape rose swiftly at 
him over the ends of the wings, now on one side, now 
on the other, as the machine rolled. 

His arms were tired with the quick, incessant wing- 
warping. He rose again. Then he looked at the Sound, 
and came down to three hundred feet, lest he lose his 
way. For the Sound was white with fog. . . . No 
wind out there ! . . . Water and cloud blurred together, 
and the skyline was lost in a mass of sombre mist, which 
ranged from filmy white to the cold dead grey of old cigar- 
ashes. He wanted to hold back, not dash out into that 
danger-filled twilight. But already he was roaring over 
grey-green marshes, then was above fishing-boats that 
were slowly rocking in water dully opaque as a dim old 
mirror. He noted two men on a sloop, staring up at 
him with foolish, gaping, mist-wet faces. Instantly 
they were left behind him. He rose, to get above the 
fog. Even the milky, sulky water was lost to sight. 

He was horribly lonely, abominably lonely. 

At five hundred feet altitude he was not yet entirely 
above the fog. Land was blotted out. Above him, 
grey sky and thin writhing filaments of vapour. Beneath 
him, only the fog-bank, erupting here and there like the 
unfolding of great white flowers as warm currents of 
air burst up through the mist-blanket. 

184 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Completely solitary. All his friends were somewhere 
far distant, in a place of solid earth and sun-warmed 
hangars. The whole knowable earth had ceased to exist. 
There was only slatey void, through which he was going 
on for ever. Or perhaps he was not moving. Always 
the same coil of mist about him. He was horribly lonely. 

He feared that the fog was growing thicker. He studied 
his compass with straining eyes. He was startled by a 
gull's plunging up through the mist ahead of him, and 
disappearing. He was the more lonely when it was gone. 
His eyebrows and cheeks were wet with the steam. Drops 
of moisture shone desolately on the planes. It was an 
unhealthy shine. He was horribly lonely. 

He pictured what would happen if the motor should 
stop and he should plunge down through that flimsy 
vapour. His pontoonless frail monoplane would sink 
almost at once. ... It would be cold, swimming. How 
long could he keep up ? What chance of being found ? 
He didn't want to fall. The cockpit seemed so safe, 
with its familiar watch and map-stand and supporting- 
wires. It was home. The wings stretching out on either 
side of him seemed comfortingly solid, adequate to hold 
him up. But the body of the machine behind him was 
only a framework, not even enclosed. And cut in the 
bottom of the cockpit was a small hole for observing 
the earth. He could see fog through it, in unpleasant 
contrast to the dull yellow of the cloth sides and bottom. 
Not before had it daunted him to look down through that 
hole. Now, however, he kept his eyes away from it, 
and, while he watched the compass and oil-gauge, and 
kept a straight course, he was thinking of how nasty 
it would be to drop, drop down there, and have to swim. 
It would be horribly lonely, swimming about a wrecked 
monoplane, hearing steamers' fog-horns, hopeless and 
afar. 

As he thought that, he actually did hear a steamer 
hoarsely whistling, and swept above it, irresistibly. He 
started ; his shoulders drooped. 

More than once he wished that he could have seen 

185 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Forrest Haviland again before he started. He wished 
with all the poignancy of man's affection for a real man 
that he had told Forrest, when they were dining at the 
Brevoort, how happy he was to be with him. He was 
horribly lonely. 

He cursed himself for letting his thoughts become 
thin and damp as the vapour about him. He shrugged 
his shoulders. He listened thankfully to the steady 
purr of the engine and the whir of the propeller. He 
would get across ! He ascended, hoping for a glimpse 
of the shore. The fog-smothered horizon stretched 
farther and farther away. He was unspeakably lonely. 

Through a tear in the mist he saw sunshine reflected 
from houses on a hill, directly before him, perhaps one 
mile distant. He shouted. He was nearly across. Safe. 
And the sun was coming out. 

Two minutes later he was turning north, between the 
water and a town which his map indicated as Stamford. 
The houses beneath him seemed companionable ; friendly 
were the hand-waving crowds, and factory-whistles gave 
him raucous greeting. 

Instantly, now that he knew where he was, the race- 
fever caught him again. Despite the strain of crossing 
the Sound, he would not for anything have come down 
to rest. He began to wonder how far ahead of him 
were Titherington and Tad Warren. 

He spied a train running north out of Stamford, swung 
over above it, and raced with it. The passengers leaned 
out of the windows, trainmen hung perilously from the 
opened doors of vestibuled platforms, the engineer tooted 
his frantic greetings to a fellow-mechanic who, above 
him in the glorious bird, sent telepathic greetings which 
the engineer probably never got. The engineer speeded 
up ; the engine puffed out vast feathery plumes of dull 
black smoke. But he drew away from the train as he 
neared South Norwalk. 

He was ascending again when he noted something 
that seemed to be a biplane standing in a field a mile 
away. He came down and circled the field. It was 

186 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Titherington's Farman biplane. He hoped that the 
kindly Englishman had not been injured. He made 
out Titherington, talking to a group about the machine. 
Relieved, he rose again, amused by the ant-hill appear- 
ance as hundreds of people, like black bugs, ran toward 
the stalled biplane, from neighbouring farms and from 
a tram-car standing in the road. 

He should not have been amused just then. He was 
too low. Directly before him was a hillside crowned 
with trees. He shot above the trees, cold in the stomach, 
muttering, " Gee ! that was careless ! " 

He sped forward. The race-fever again. Could he 
pass Tad Warren as he had passed Titherington ? He 
whirled over the towns, shivering but happy in the mellow, 
cool October air, far enough from the water to be out of 
what fog the brightening sun had left. The fields rolled 
beneath him, so far down that they were turned into 
continuous and wonderful masses of brown and gold. 
He sang to himself. He liked Titherington ; he was 
glad that the Englishman had not been injured ; but 
it was good to be second in the race ; to have a chance 
to win a contest which the whole country was watching ; 
to be dashing into a rosy dawn of fame. But while he 
sang he was keeping a tense look-out for Tad Warren. 
He had to pass him ! 

With the caution of the Scotchlike Norwegian, he 
had the cloche constantly on the jiggle, with ceaseless 
adjustments to the wind, which varied constantly as 
he passed over different sorts of terrain. Once the breeze 
dropped him sidewise. He shot down to gain momentum, 
brought her to even keel, and, as he set her nose up again, 
laughed boisterously. 

Never again would he be so splendidly young, never 
again so splendidly sure of himself and of his medium 
of expression. He was to gain wisdom, but never to 
have more joy of the race. 

He was sure now that he was destined to pass Tad 
Warren. 

The sun was ever brighter ; the horizon ever wider, 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

rimming the saucer-shaped earth. When he flew near 
the Sound he saw that the fog had almost passed. The 
water was gentle and coloured like pearl, lapping the 
sands, smoking toward the radiant sky. He passed over 
summer cottages, vacant and asleep, with fantastic holiday 
roofs of red and green. Gulls soared like flying sickles 
of silver over the opal sea. Even for the racer there 
was peace. 

He made out a mass of rock covered with autumn- 
hued trees to the left, then a like rock to the right. " West 
and East Rock New Haven ! " he cried. 

The city mapped itself before him like square building- 
blocks on a dark carpet, with railway and tram-lines 
like flashing spider-webs under the October noon. 

So he had arrived, then and he had not caught Tad 
Warren. He was furious. 

He circled the city, looking for the Green, where (in 
this day before the Aero Club of America battled against 
over-city flying) he was to land. He saw the Yale cam- 
pus, lazy beneath its elms, its towers and turrets dream- 
ing of Oxford. His anger left him. 

He plunged down toward the Green and his heart 
nearly stopped. The spectators were scattered every- 
where. How could he land without crushing someone ? 
With trees to each side and a church in front, he was 
too far down to rise again. His back pressed against 
the back of the little seat, and seemed automatically 
to be trying to restrain him from this tragic landing. 

The people were fleeing. In front there was a tiny 
space. But there was no room to sail horizontally and 
come down lightly. He shut off his motor and turned 
the monoplane's nose directly at the earth. She struck 
hard, bounced a second. Her tail rose, and she started, 
with dreadful deliberateness, to turn turtle. With a 
vault Carl was out of the cockpit and clear of the machine 
as she turned over. 

Oblivious of the clamorous crowd which was pressing 
in about him, cutting off the light, replacing the clean 
smell of petrol and the upper air by the hot odour of 

188 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

many bodies, he examined the monoplane and found 
that she had merely fractured the propeller and smashed 
the rudder. 

Someone was fighting through the crowd to his side 
Tony Bean Tony the round, polite Mexican from the 
Bagby School. He was crying : " Hombre, what a land- 
ing ! You have saved lives. . . . Get out of the way, 
all you people ! " 

Carl grinned and said : " Good to see you, Tony. What 
time did Tad Warren get here ? Where's " 

" He ees not here yet." 

"What? Huh? How's that? Do I win ? That 

Say, gosh ! I hope he hasn't been hurt." 

" Yes, you win." 

A newspaper-man standing beside Tony said : " War- 
ren had to come down at Great Neck. He sprained his 
shoulder, but that's all." 

" That's good." 

" But you," insisted Tony, " aren't yqu badly jarred, 
Hawk ? " 

" Not a bit." 

The gaping crowd, hanging its large collective ear 
toward the two aviators, was shouting : " Hoorray ! 
He's all right ! " As their voices rose Carl became aware 
that all over the city hundreds of factory-whistles 
and bells were howling their welcome to him the 
victor. 

The police were clearing a way for him. As a police 
captain touched a gold-flashing cap to him, Carl remem- 
bered how afraid of the police that tramp Slim Ericson 
had been. 

Tony and he completed examination of the machine, 
with Tony's mechanic, and sent it off to a shop, to await 
Martin Dockerill's arrival by boat and racing-automobile. 
Carl went to receive congratulations and a cheque 
from the prize-giver, and a reception by Yale officials 
on the campus. Before him, along his lane of passage, 
was a kaleidoscope of hands sticking out from the wall 
of people hands that reached out and shook his own 

189 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

till they were sore, hands that held out pencil and paper 
to beg for an autograph, hands of girls with golden flowers 
of autumn, hands of dirty, eager, small boys weaving, 
interminable hands. Dizzy with a world peopled only 
by writhing hands, yet moved by their greeting, he made 
his way across the Green, through Phelps Gateway, and 
upon the campus. Twisting his cap and wishing that he 
had taken off his leather flying-coat, he stood upon a 
platform and heard officials congratulating him. 

The reception was over. But the people did not move. 
And he was very tired. He whispered to a professor : 
" Is that a dormitory, there behind us ? Can I get into 
it and get away ? " 

The professor beckoned to one of the collegians, and 
replied, " I think, Mr. Ericson, if you will step down 
they will pass you into Vanderbilt Courtyard by the 
gate behind us and you will be able to escape." 

Carl trusted himself to the bunch of boys forming 
behind him, and found himself rushed into the compara- 
tive quiet of a Tudor courtyard. A charming youngster, 
hatless and sleek of hair, cried, " Right this way, Mr. 
Ericson up this staircase in the tower and we'll give 
'em the slip." 

From the roar of voices to the dusky quietude of the 
hallway was a joyous escape. Suddenly Carl was a 
youngster, permitted to see Yale, a university so great 
that, from Plato College, it had seemed an imperial myth. 
He stared at the list of room-occupants framed and hung 
on the first floor. He peeped reverently through an 
open door at a suite of rooms. 

He was taken to a room with a large collection of pil- 
lows, fire-irons, Morris chairs, sets of books in crushed 
levant, tobacco-jars and pipes a restless and boyish 
room, but a real haven. He stared out upon the campus, 
and saw the crowd stolidly waiting for him. He glanced 
round at his host and waved his hand deprecatingly, 
then tried to seem really grown up, really like the famous 
Hawk Ericson. But he wished that Forrest Haviland 
were there so that he might marvel : " Look at 'em, 

190 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

will you ! Waiting for me \ Can you beat it ? Some 
start for my Yale course ! " 

In a big chair, with a pipe supplied by the youngster, 
he shyly tried to talk to a senior in the great world of Yale 
(he himself had not been able to climb to seniorhood 
even in Plato), while the awed youngster shyly tried 
to talk to the great aviator. 

He had picked up a Yale catalogue and he vaguely 
ruffled its pages, thinking of the difference between its 
range of courses and the petty inflexible curriculum of 
Plato. Out of the pages leaped the name " Frazer." 
He hastily turned back. There it was : " Henry Frazer, 
A.M., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in English Literature." 

Carl rejoiced boyishly that, after his defeat at Plato, 
Professor Frazer had won to victory. He forgot his 
own triumph. For a second he longed to call on Frazer 
and pay his respects. " No," he growled to himself, 
" I've been so busy hiking that I've forgotten what little 

book-learnin' I ever had. I'd like to see him, but 

By gum ! I'm going to begin studying again." 

Hidden away in the youngster's bedroom for a nap, 
he dreamed uncomfortably of Frazer and books. That 
did not keep him from making a good altitude flight at 
the New Haven Meet that afternoon, with his hastily 
repaired machine and a new propeller. But he thought 
of new roads for wandering in the land of books, as he sat, 
tired and sleepy, but trying to appear bright and 
appreciative, at the big dinner in his honour the first 
sacrificial banquet to which he had been subjected 
with earnest gentlemen in evening clothes, glad for an 
excuse to drink just a little too much champagne ; with 
mayors and councilmen and bankers ; with the inevit- 
able stories about the man who was accused of stealing 
umbrellas and about the two skunks on a fence enviously 
watching a motor-car. 

Equally inevitable were the speeches praising Carl's 
flight as a " remarkable achievement, destined to live 
forever in the annals of sport and heroism, and to bring 
one more glory to the name of our fair city." 

191 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl tried to appear honoured, but he was thinking : 
" Rats ! I'll live in the annals of nothin' ! Curtiss and 
Brookins and Hoxsey have all made longer flights than 
mine, in this country alone, and they're aviators I'm 
not worthy to fill the gas-tanks of. ... Gee ! I'm sleepy ! 
Got to look polite, but I wish I could beat it. ... Let's 
see. Now look here, young Carl ; starting in to-morrow, 
you begin to read oodles of books. Let's see. I'll start 
out with Forrest's favourites. There's David Copper- 
field, and that book by Wells, Tono-Bungay, that's got 
aerial experiments in it, and Jude the Ob , Obscure, I 
guess it is, and The Damnation of Theron Ware (wonder 
what he damned), and McTeague, and W olden > and War 
and Peace, and Madame Bovary, and some Turgenev 
and some Balzac. And something more serious. Guess 
I'll try William James's book on psychology." 

He bought them all next morning. His other belong- 
ings had been suited to rapid transportation, and Martin 
Dockerill grumbled, " That's a swell line of baggage, 
all right one tooth-brush, a change of socks, and ninety- 
seven thousand books." 

Two nights later, in a hotel at Portland, Maine, Carl 
was ploughing through the Psychology. He hated study. 
He flipped the pages angrily, and ran his fingers through 
his corn-coloured hair. But he sped on, concentrated, 
stopping only to picture a day when the people who 
honoured him publicly would also know him in private. 
Somewhere among them, he believed, was the girl with 
whom he could play. He would meet her at some aero 
race, and she would welcome him as eagerly as he wel- 
comed her. . . . Had he, perhaps, already met her ? 
He walked over to the writing-table and scrawled a note 
to Gertie Cowles regarding the beauty of the Yale campus. 



192 



CHAPTER XXII 

(Editor's Note. The following pages are extracts from a diary 
kept by Mr, C. O. Ericson in a desultory fashion from January, 
1911, to the end of April, 1912. They are reprinted quite literally. 
Apparently Mr. Ericson had no very precise purpose in keeping 
his journal. At times it seems intended as materia for future 
literary use ; at others, as comments for his own future amuse- 
ment ; at still others, as a sort of long letter to be later sent to 
his friend, Lieut. Forrest Haviland, U.S.A. I have already referred 
to them in my Psycho- Analysis of the Subconscious with Reference 
to Active Temperaments, but here reprint them less for their appeal 
to us as a scientific study of reactions than as possessing, doubtless, 
for those interested in pure narrative, a certain curt expression 
of somewhat unusual exploits, however inferior is their style to a 
more critical thesis on the adventurous.) 

MAY 9 (1911). Arrived at Mineola flying field, 
N. Y. to try out new Bagby monoplane I have 
bought. Not much accommodation here yet. Many 
of us housed in tents. Not enough hangars. We sit * 
around and tell lies in the long grass at night, like a bunch 
of kids out camping. Went over and had a beer at Peter 
McLoughlin's to-day, that's where Glenn Curtiss started 
out from to make his first flight for Sci. Amer. cup. 

Like my new Bagby machine better than Bleriot in 
many respects, has non-lifting tail, as should all modern 
machines. Rudder and elevator a good deal like the 
Nieuport. One passenger. Roomy cockpit and enclosed 
fuselage. Bleriot control. Nearer streamline than any 
American plane yet. Span, 33.6 ft., length 24, chord 
of wing at fuselage 6' 5". Chauviere propeller, 6' 6", 
pitch 4' 5*. Dandy new Gnome engine, 70 h.p., should 
develop 60 to 80 m.p.h. 

Martin Dockerill my mechanic is pretty cute. He 
said to me to-day when we were getting work-bench 
up, " I bet a hat the spectators all flock here, now. Not 
that you're any better flier than some of the other boys, 
but you got the newest plane for them to write their 
names on/' 

Certainly a crowd of people butting in. Come in autos 
and motor cycles and on foot, and stand around watching 

193 N 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

everything you do till you want to fire a monkey wrench 
at them. 

Hank Odell has joined the Associated Order of the 
Pyramid and just now he is sitting out in front of his tent 
talking to some of the Grand Worthy High Mighties 
of it I guess fat old boy with a yachting cap and a big 
brass watch chain and an Order of Pyramid charm big 
as your thumb, and a tough young fellow with a black 
sateen shirt and his hat on sideways with a cigarette 
hanging out of one corner of his mouth. 

Since I wrote the above a party of sports, the women 
in fade-away gowns made to show their streamline forms, 
came butting in, poking their fingers at everything, while 
the slob that owned their car explained everything wrong. 
" This is a biplane," he says, " you can see there's a plane 
sticking out on each side of the place where the aviator 
sits, it's a new areoplane (that's the way he pronounced 
it), and that dingus in front is a whirling motor." I 
was sitting here at the work-bench, writing, hot as hell 
and sweaty and in khaki trousers and soft shirt and black 
sneakers, and the Big Boss comes over to me and says, 
" Where is Hawk Ericson, my man." " How do I know," 
I says. " When will he be back," says he, as though 
he was thinking of getting me fired p. d. q. for being fresh. 
" Next week. He ain't come yet." 

He gets sore and says, " See here, my man, I read 
in the papers to-day that he has just joined the flying 
colony. Permit me to inform you that he is a very good 
friend of mine. If you will ask him, I am quite sure 
that he will remember Mr. Porter Carruthers, who was 
introduced to him at the Belmont Park Meet. Now if 
you will be so good as to show the ladies and myself 

about " Well, I asked Hawk, and Hawk seemed 

to be unable to remember his friend Mr. Carruthers, 
who was one of the thousand or so people recently intro- 
duced to him, but he told me to show them about, which 
I did, and told them the Gnome was built radial to save 
room, and the wires overhead were a frame for a little 
roof for bad weather, and they gasped and nodded to every 

194 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

fool thing I said, swallowed it hook line and sinker till 
one of the females showed her interest by saying, " How 
fascinating, let's go over to the Garden City Hotel, Porter, 
I'm dying for a drink." I hope she died for it. 

May 10. Up at three, trying out machine. Smashed 
landing chassis in coming down, shook me up a little. 
Interesting how when I rose it was dark on the ground 
but once up was a little red in the east like smoke from 
a regular fairy city. 

Another author out to-day bothering me for what he 
called " copy." 

Must say I've met some darn decent people in this game 
though. To-day there was a girl came out with Billy 
Morrison of the N. Y. Courier, she is an artist, but crazy 
about outdoor life, etc. Named Istra Nash, a red-haired 
girl, slim as a match but the strangest face, pale but it 
lights up when she's talking to you. Took her up and she 
was not scared, most are. 

May ii. Miss Istra Nash came out by herself. She's 
thinking quite seriously about learning to fly. She sat 
around and watched me work, and when nobody was 
looking smoked a cigarette. Has recently been in Europe, 
Paris, London, etc. 

Somehow when I'm talking to a woman like her I 
realize how little I see of women with whom I can be really 
chummy, though I meet so many people at receptions etc. 
sometimes just after I have been flying before thousands 
of people I beat it to my hotel and would be glad for 
a good chat with the night clerk, of course I can bank 
on Martin Dockerill to the limit but when I talk to a 
person like Miss Nash I realize I need someone who knows 
good art from bad. Though Miss Nash doesn't insist 
on talking like a highbrow, indeed is picking up aviation 
technologies very quickly. She talks German like a 
native. 

Think Miss Nash is perhaps older than I am, perhaps 
couple of years, but doesn't make any difference. 

Reading a little German to-night, almost forgot what 
I learned of it in Plato. 

195 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

May 14, Sunday. Went into town this afternoon and 
went with Istra to dinner at the Lafayette. She told me 
all about her experiences in Paris and studying art. She 
is quite discontented here in N. Y. I don't blame her 
much, it must have been bully over in Paree. We sat 
talking till ten. Like to see Vedrines fly, and the Louvre 
and the gay grisettes too by heck ! Istra ought not to 
drink so many cordials, nix on the booze you learn when 
you try to keep in shape for flying, though Tad Warren 
doesn't seem to learn it. After ten we went to studio 
where Istra is staying on Washington Sq. several of her 
friends there and usual excitement and fool questions 
about being an aviator, it always makes me feel like a 
boob. But they saw Istra and I wanted to be alone and 
they beat it. 

This is really dawn but I'll date it May 14, which is 
yesterday. No sleep for me to-night, I'm afraid. Going 
to fly around NY in aerial derby this afternoon, must 
get plenty sleep now. 

May 15. Won derby, not much of an event though. 
Struck rotten currents over Harlem River, machine rolled 
like a whale-back. 

Istra out here to-morrow. Glad. But after last night 
afraid I'll get so I depend on her, and the aviator that 
keeps his nerve has to be sort of a friendless cuss some 
ways. 

May 16. Istra came out here. Seems very discon- 
tented. I'm afraid she's the kind to want novelty and 
attention incessantly, she seems to forget that I'm pretty 
busy. 

May 17. Saw Istra in town, she forgot all her discon- 
tent and her everlasting dignity and danced for me then 
came over and kissed me, she is truly a wonder, can hum 
a French song so you think you're among the peasants, 
but she expects absolute devotion and constant amusing 
and I must stick to my last if a mechanic like me is to 
amount to anything. 

May 18. Istra out here, she sat around and looked 
bored, wanted to make me sore, I think. When I told 

196 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

her I had to leave to-morrow morning for Rochester and 
couldn't come to town for dinner etc. she flounced home. 
I'm sorry, I'm mighty sorry ; poor kid she's always going 
to be discontented wherever she is, and always getting 
someone and herself all wrought up. She always wants 
new sensations yet doesn't want to work, and the com- 
bination isn't very good. It'd be great if she really 
worked at her painting, but she usually stops her art 
just this side of the handle of a paint-brush. 

Curious thing is that when she'd gone and I sat thinking 
about her I didn't miss her so much as Gertie Cowles. 
I hope I see Gertie again some day, she is a good pal. 

Istra wanted me to name my new monoplane Babette, 
because she says it looks " cunning " which the Lord knows 
it don't, it may look efficient but not cunning. But I 
don't think I'll name it anything, though she says that 
shows lack of imagination. 

People especially reporters are always asking me this 
question, do aviators have imagination ? I'm not sure 
I know what imagination is. It's like this stuff about 
" sense of humour." Both phrases are pretty bankrupt 
now. A few years ago when I was running a car I would 
make believe I was different people, like a king driving 
through his kingdom, but when I'm warping and banking 
I don't have time to think about making believe. Of 
course I do notice sunsets and so on a good deal but that 
is not imagination. And I do like to go different places ; 
possibly I take the imagination out that way I guess 
imagination is partly wanting to be places where you 
aren't well, I go when I want to, and I like that better. 

Anyway darned if I'll give my monoplane a name. 
Tad Warren has been married to a musical comedy sou- 
brette with ringlets of red-brown hair (Istra's hair is 
quite bright red, but this woman has dark red hair, like 
the colour of California redwood chips, no maybe darker) 
and she wears a slimpsy bright blue dress with the waist- 
line nearly down to her knees, and skirt pretty short, 
showing a lot of ankle, and a kind of hat I never noticed 
before, must be getting stylish now I guess, flops down 

197 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

so it almost hides her face like a basket. She's a typical 
wife for a 10 h.p. aviator with exhibition fever. She and 
Tad go joy riding almost every night with a bunch of 
petrol and alcohol sports and all have about five cock- 
tails and dance a new Calif, dance called the Turkey 
Trot. This bunch have named Tad's new Wright 
" Sammy/' and they think it's quite funny to yell " Hello 
Sammy, how are you, come have a drink." 

I guess I'll call mine a monoplane and let it go at that. 

July 14. Quebec. Lost race Toronto to Quebec. 
Had fair chance to win but motor kept misfiring, couldn't 
seem to get plugs that would work, and smashed hell out 
of elevator coming down on tail when landing here. Glad 
Hank Odell won, since I lost. Hank has designed new 
rocker-arm for Severn motor valves. All of us invited 
to usual big dinner, never did see so many uniforms, 
also members of Canadian parliament. I don't like to 
lose a race, but thunder it doesn't bother me long. Good 
filet of sole at dinner. Sat near a young lieutenant, 
leftenant I suppose it is, who made me think of Forrest 
Haviland. I miss Forrest a lot. He's doing some good 
flying for the army, flying Curtiss hydro now, and trying 
out muffler for military scouting. What I like as much as 
anything about him is his ease, I hope I'm learning a little 
of it anyway. This stuff is all confused but must hustle 
off to reception at summer school of Royal College for 
Females. Must send all this to old Forrest to read some 
day if you ever see this, Forrest, hello, dear old man, 
I thought about you when I flew over military post. 

Later. Big reception, felt like an awful nut, so shy I 
didn't hardly dare look up off the ground. After the 
formal reception I was taken around the campus by the 
Lady President, nice old lady with white hair and dia- 
mond combs in it. What seemed more than a million 
pretty girls kept dodging out of doorways and making 
snapshots of me. Good thing I've been reading quite a 
little lately, as the Lady Principal (that was it, not Lady 
President) talked very highbrow. She asked me what I 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

thought of this " terrible lower class unrest." Told her I 
was a socialist and she never batted an eye of course an 
aviator is permitted to be a nut. Wonder if I am a good 
socialist as a matter of fact, I do know that most govern- 
ments, maybe all, permit most children to never have a 
chance, start them out by choking them with dirt and 
T.B. germs, but how can we make international solidarity 
seem practical to the dub average voters, how \ 

Letter from Gertie to-night, forwarded here. She 
seems sort of bored in Joralemon, but is working hard 
with Village Improvement Committee of woman's club 
for rest room for farmers' wives, also getting up P.E. 
Sunday school picnic. Be good for Istra if she did com- 
mon nice things like that, since she won't really get busy 
with her painting, but how she'd hate me for suggesting 
that she be what she calls " burjoice." Guess Gertie is 
finding herself. Hope yours truly but sleepy is finding 
himself too. How I love my little bed ! 



199 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE DIARY OF MR. ERICSON, CONTINUED. EDITOR. 

UGUST 20 (1911, as before). Big Chicago meet 
er. They sure did show us a good time. Never 
saw better meet. Won finals in duration to-day. Also 
am second in altitude, but nix on the altitude again, 
I'm pretty poor at it. I'm no Lincoln Beachey ! Don't 
see how he breathes. His 11,578 ft. was some climb. 

To-morrow starts my biggest attempt, by far ; biggest 
distance flight ever tried in America, and rather niftier 
than even the European Circuit and British Circuit that 
Beaumont has won. 

To fly as follows : Chicago to St. Louis to Indianapolis 
to Columbus to Washington to Baltimore to Philadelphia 
to Atlantic City to New York. The New York Chronicle 
in company with papers along line gives prize of $40,000. 
Ought to help bank account if win, in spite of big expenses 
to undergo. Now have $30,000 stowed away, and have 
sent mother $3,000. 

To fly against my good old teacher M. Carmeau, and 
Tony Bean, Walter MacMonnies, M. Beaufort the French- 
man, Tad Warren, Billy Witzer, Chick Bannard, Aaron 
Solomons and other good men. Special NY Chroncle 
reporter, fellow named Forbes, assigned to me, and he 
hangs around all the time, sort of embarrassing (hurray, 
spelled it right, I guess) but I'm getting used to the reporters. 

Martin Dockerill has an ambition ! He said to me 
to-day, " Say, Hawk, if you win the big race you got to 
give me five plunks for my share and then by gum I'm 
going to buy two razor-strops." " What for ? " I said 
" Oh I bet there ain't anybody else in the world that owns 
two razor-strops ! " 

Not much to say about banquet, lots of speeches, good 
grub. 

What tickles me more than anything is my new flying 
garments not clothes but garments, by heck ! I'm going 
to be a regular little old aviator in a melodrama. I've 

200 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

"been wearing plain suits and a cap, oaine good old cap, 
always squeegee on my head. But for the big race I've 
got riding breeches and puttees and a silk shirt and a 
tweed Norfolk jacket and new leather coat and French 
helmet with both felt and springs inside the leather this 
last really valuable. The real stage aviator, that's me. 
Watch the photographers fall for it. I bet Tad Warren's 
Norfolk jacket is worth $10,000 a year to him ! 

I pretended to Martin that I was quite serious about 
the clothes, the garments I mean. I dolled myself all 
up last night and went swelling into my hangar and 
anxiously asked Martin if he didn't like the get-up, and 
he nearly threw a fit. " Good Lord," he groans, " you 
look like an aviator on a Ladies Home Journal cover, 
guaranteed not to curse, swear or chaw tobacco. What's 
become of that girl you was kissing, last time I seen you 
on the cover ? " 

August 25. Not much time to write diary on race 
like this, it's just saw wood all the time or lose. 

Bad wind to-day. Sometimes the wind don't bother 
me when I am flying, and sometimes, like to-day, it seems 
as though the one thing in the whole confounded world 
is the confounded wind that roars in your ears and makes 
your eyes water and sneaks down your collar to chill your 
spine and goes scooting up your sleeves, unless you have 
gauntlets, and makes your ears sting. Roar, roar, roar, 
the wind's worse than the noisiest old cast-iron tin-can 
Vrenskoy motor. You want to duck your head and get 
down out of it, and Lord it tires you so aviation isn't 
all "brilliant risks" and " daring dives" and that kind 
of blankety-blank circus business, not by a long shot it 
ain't, lots of it is just sticking there and bucking the 
wind like a taxi driver speeding for a train in a storm. 
Tired to-night and mad. 

September 5. New York ! I win ! Plenty smashes but 
only got jarred. I beat out Beaufort by eight hours, and 
Aaron Solomons by nearly a day. Carmeau's machine 
hopelessly smashed in Columbus, but he was not hurt, 
but poor Tad Warren killed crossing Illinois. 

201 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

September 8. Had no time to write about my reception 
here in New York till now. 

I've been worrying about poor Tad Warren's wife, 
bunch of us got together and made up a purse for her. 
Nothing more pathetic than these poor little women 
that poke down the cocktails to keep excited and then 
go to pieces. 

I don't believe I was very decent to Tad. Sitting 
here alone in a hotel room, it seems twice as lonely after 
the fuss and feathers these last few days, a fellow 
thinks of all the rotten things he ever did. Poor old 
Tad. Too late now to cheer him up. Too late. Won- 
der if they shouldn't have called off race when he was 
killed. 

Wish Istra wouldn't keep calling me up. Have I 
got to be rude to her ? I'd like to be decent to her, but 
I can't stand the cocktail life. Lord, that time she 
danced, though. 

Poor Tad was 

Oh hell, to get back to the reception. It was pretty 
big. Parade of the Aero Club and Squadron A, me in 
an open-face hack, feeling like a boob while sixty leven 
billion people cheered. Then reception by mayor, me 
delivering letter from mayor of Chicago which I had 
cutely sneaked out in Chicago and mailed to myself here, 
N. Y. general delivery, so I wouldn't lose it on the way. 
Then biggest dinner I've ever seen, must have been a 
thousand there, at the Astor, me very natty in a new 
dress suit (hey bo, I fooled them, it was ready-made 
and cost me just $37.50 and fitted like my skin). 

Mayor, presidents of boroughs of NY, district attorney, 
vice president of U.S., lieut. governor of NY, five or 
six senators, chief of ordnance, U.S.A., arctic explorers 
and hundreds like that, but most of all Forrest Haviland 
whom I got them to stick right up near me. Speeches 
mostly about me, I nearly rubbed the silver off my flossy 
new cigarette case keeping from looking foolish while 
they were telling about me and the future of aviation 
and all them interesting subjects. 

202 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Forrest and I sneaked off from the reporters next after- 
noon, had quiet dinner down in Chinatown. 

We have a bully plan. If we can make it and if he 
can get leave we will explore the headwaters of the Amazon 
with a two-passenger Curtiss flying boat, maybe next 
year. 

Now the reception fans have done their darndest and 
all the excitement is over including the shouting and I'm 
starting for Newport to hold a little private meet of my 
own, backed by Thomas J. Watersell, the steel magnate, 
and by to-morrow night NY will forget me. I realized 
that after the big dinner. I got on the subway at Times 
Square, jumped quick into the car just as the doors were 
closing, and the guard yapped at me, " What are you 
trying to do, Billy, kill yourself ? " He wasn't spend- 
ing much time thinking about famous Hawk Ericson, 
and I got to thinking how comfortable NY will manage 
to go on being when they no longer read in the morning 
paper whether I dined with the governor, or with Martin 
Dockerill at Bazoo Junction Depot Lunch Counter. 

They forget us quick. And already there's a new 
generation of aviators. Some of the old giants are gone, 
poor Moisant and Hoxsey and Johnstone and the rest 
killed, and there's coming along a bunch of youngsters 
that can fly enough to grab the glory, and they spread 
out the glory pretty thin. They go us old fellows except 
Beachey a few better on aerial acrobatics, and that's 
what the dear pee-pul like. (For a socialist I certainly 
do despise the pee-pul's taste !) I won't do any flipflops 
in the air no matter what the county fair managers write 
me. Somehow I'd just as soon be alive and exploring 
the Amazon with old Forrest as dead after " brilliant 
feats of fearless daring." Go to it, kids, good luck, only 
test your supporting wires, and don't try to rival Lincoln 
Beachey, he's a genius. 

Glad got a secretary for a couple days to handle all 
this mail. Hundreds of begging letters and mash notes 
from girls since I won the big prize. Makes me feel 
funny ! One nice thing out of the mail letter from the 

203 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Turk, Jack Terry, that I haven't seen since Plato. He 
didn't graduate, his old man died and he is assistant 
manager of quite a good sized fisheries out in Oregon, 
glad to hear from him again. Funny, I haven't thought 
of him for a year. 

I feel lonely and melancholy to-night in spite of all 
I do to cheer up. Let up after reception etc. I sup- 
pose. I feel like calling up Istra, after all, but mustn't. 
I ought to hit the hay, but I couldn't sleep. Poor Tad 
Warren. 

(The following words appear at the bottom of a page, in a 
faint, fine handwriting unlike Mr. Ericsoris usual scrawl. 
The Editor) : 

Whatever spirits there be, of the present world or 
the future, take this prayer from a plain man who knows 
little of monism or trinity or logos, and give to Tad 
another chance, as a child who never grew up. 

September n. Off to Kokomo, to fly for Farmers' 
Alliance. 

Easy meet here (Newport, R.I.) yesterday, just straight 
flying and passenger carrying. Dandy party given for 
me after it, by Thomas J. Watersell, the steel man. Have 
read of such parties. Bird party, in a garden, Water- 
sell has many acres in his place and big house with a 
wonderful brick terrace and more darn convenient things 
than I ever saw before, breakfast room out on the terrace 
and swimming pool and little gardens one outside of 
each guest room, rooms all have private doors, house 
is mission style built around patio. All the Newport 
swells came to party dressed as birds, and I had to dress 
as a hawk, they had the costume all ready, wonder how 
they got my measurements. Girls in the dance of the 
birds. Much silk stockings, very pretty. At end of 
dance they were all surrounding me in semi-circle. I stood 
out on lawn beside Mrs. Watersell, and, they bowed low 
to me, fluttering their silk wings and flashing out many 
coloured electric globes concealed in wings and looked 
like hundreds of rainbow coloured fireflies in the darkness. 

204 



THE TRAIL OF THE, HAWK 

Just then the big lights were turned on again and they 
let loose hundreds of all kinds of birds, and they flew 
up all around me, surprised me to death. Then for grub, 
best sandwiches I ever ate. 

Felt much flattered by it all, somehow did not feel 
so foolish as at banquets with speeches. 

After the party was all over, quite late, I went with 
Watersell for a swim in his private pool. Most remark- 
able thing I ever saw. He said everybody has Roman 
baths and Pompei baths and he was going to go them 
one better, so he has an Egyptian bath, the pool itself 
like the inside of an ancient temple, long vista of great 
big green columns and a big idol at the end, and the pool 
all in green marble with lights underneath the water 
and among the columns, and the water itself just heat 
of air, so you can't tell where the water leaves off and 
the air above it begins, hardly, and feel as though you 
were swimming in air through a green twilight. Darndest 
sensation I ever felt, and the idol and columns sort of 
awe you. 

I enjoyed the swim and the room they gave me, but 
I had lost my toothbrush and that kind of spoiled the 
end of the party. 

I noticed Watersell only half introduced his pretty 

daughter to me, they like me as a lion but And 

yet they seem to like me personally well enough, too. 
If I didn't have old Martin trailing along, smoking his 
corncob pipe and saying what he thinks, I'd die of lone- 
liness sometimes on the hike from meet to meet. Other 
times have jolly parties, but I'd like to sit down with the 
Cowles and play poker and not have to explain who I 
am. 

Funny never used to feel lonely when I was knocking 
about, not paying any special attention to anybody. 

October 23. I wonder how far I'll ever get as an aviator ? 
The newspapers all praise me as a hero. Hero, hell ! 
I'm a pretty steady flier but so would plenty of chauffeurs 
be. This hero business is mostly nonsense, it was mostly 
chance my starting to fly at all. Don't suppose it is all 

205 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

accident to become as great a flier as Garros or Vedrines 
or Beachey, but I'm never going to be a Garros, I guess. 
Like the man that can jump twelve feet but never can 
et himself to go any farther. 

December i. Carmeau killed yesterday, flying at San 
Antone. Motor backfire, machine caught fire, burned 
him to death in the air. He was the best teacher I could 
have had, patient and wise. I can't write about him. 
And I can't get this insane question out of my mind : 
Was his beard burned ? I remember just how it looked, 
and think of that when all the time I ought to remember 
how clever and darn decent he was. Carmeau will never 
show me new stunts again. 

And Ely killed in October, Cromwell Dixon gone 
the plucky youngster, Professor Montgomery, Nieuport, 
Todd Shriver whom Martin Dockerill and Hank Odell 
liked so much, and many others, all dead, like Moisant. 
I don't think I take any undue risks, but it makes me 
stop and think. And Hank Odell with a busted shoulder. 
Captain Paul Beck once told me he believed it was mostly 
carelessness, these accidents, and he certainly is a good 
observer, but when I think of a careful constructor like 
Nieuport 

Punk money I'm making. Thank heaven there will 
be one more good year of the game, 1912, but I don't 
know about 1913. Looks like the exhibition game would 
"blow up then nearly everybody that wants to has seen 
an aeroplane fly once, now, and that's about all they want, 
so good bye aviation, except for military use and flying 
boats for sportsmen. At least good bye during a slump 
of several years. 

Hope to thunder Forrest and I will be able to make 
our South American hike, even if it costs every cent I 
have. That will be something like it, seeing new country 
instead of scrapping with fair managers about money. 

December 22. Hoorray ! Christmas time at sea ! Quite 
exciting to smell the ocean again and go rolling down 
the narrow gangways between the white stateroom doors. 
Off for a month's flying in Brazil and Argentine, with 

206 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Tony Bean. Will look up data for coming exploration 
of Amazon headwaters. Martin Dockerill like a regular 
Beau Brummel in new white flannels, parading the deck, 
making eyes at pretty Greaser girls. It's good to be 
going. 

Feb. 22, 1912. Geo. W's birthday. He'd have busted 
that no-lie proviso if he'd ever advertised an aero meet. 

Start of flight New Orleans to St. Louis. Looks like 
really big times, old fashioned jubilee all along the road 
and lots of prizes, though take a chance. Only measly 
little $2,500 prize guaranteed, but vague promises of 
winnings at towns all along, where stop for short exhibi- 
tions. Each of contestants has to fly at scheduled towns 
for percentage of gate receipts. 

Feb. 23. What a rotten flight to-day. Small crowd 
out to see me off. No sooner up than trouble with plugs. 
Wanted to land, but nothing but bayous, rice fields, 
cane brakes, and marshes. Farmer shot at my machine. 
Soon motor stopped on me and had to come down awhoop- 
ing on a small ploughed field. Smashed landing gear 
and got an awful jar. Nothing serious though. It 
was two hours before a local blacksmith and I repaired 
chassis and cleaned plugs. I started off after coaching 
three scared darkies to hold the tail, while the blacksmith 
spun the propeller. He would give it a couple of bats, 
then dodge out of the way too soon, while I sat there 
and tried not to look mad, which by gum I was plenty 

mad. Landed in this rotten town, called , fourth 

in the race, and found sweet (?) refuge in this chills and 
fever hotel. Wish I was back in New Orleans. Cheer 
up, having others ahead of me in the race just adds a 
little zip to it. Watch me to-morrow. And I'm not 
the only hard luck artist. Aaron Solomons busted pro- 
peller and nearly got killed. 

Later. Cable. Tony Bean is dead. Killed flying. 
My god, Tony, impossible to think of him as dead, just 
a few days ago we were flying together and calling on 
senoritas and he playing the fiddle and laughing, always 

207 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

so polite, like he used to fiddle us into good nature when 
we got discouraged at Bagby's school. Seems like it was 
just couple minutes ago we drove in his big car through 
Avenida de Mayo and everybody cheered him, he was 
hero of Buenos Ayres, yet he treated me as the Big Chief. 
Cablegram forwarded from New Orleans, dated yester- 
day, " Beanno killed fell 200 feet/ 1 

And to-morrow I'll have to be out and jolly the rustic 
meet managers again. Want to go off some place and 
be quiet and think. Wish I could get away, be off to 
South America with Forrest. 

February 24. Rotten luck continues. Back in same 
town again ! Got up yesterday and motor misfired, 
had to make quick landing in a bayou and haul out machine 
myself aided by scared kids. Got back here and found 
petrol pipe fouled, small piece of tin stuck in it. 

Martin feels as bad as I do at Tony's death, though he 
doesn't say much of anything. " Gosh, and Tony such 
a nice little cuss," was about all he said, but he looked 
white around the gills. 

Feb. 25. Another man has dropped out, I am third 
but still last in the race. Race fever got me to-day, didn't 
care for anything but winning, got off to a good start, 
then took chances, machine wobbled like a board in the 
surf. Am having some funny kind of chicken Creole I 
guess it is for lunch, writing this in hotel dining-room. 

Later, Passed Aaron Solomons, am now second in 
the race, landed here just three hours behind Walter 
MacMonnies. Three letters forwarded here, from For- 
rest, he is flying daily at army aviation camp, also from 
Gertie Cowles, she and her mother are in Minneapolis, 
attending a week of grand opera, also to my surprise 
short note from Jack Ryan, the grouch, saying he has 
given up flying and gone back into motor business. 

There won't be much more than money to pay expenses 
on this trip. 

To-morrow I'll show them some real flying. 

Later. Telegram from a St. L. newspaper. Sweet 
business. Says that promoters of race have not kept 

208 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

promise to remove time limit as they promised. Doubt 
if either Walter MacMonnies or I can finish in time set. 
Feb. 26. Bad luck continues but made fast flight 
after two forced descents, one of them had to make difficult 
landing, plane down on railway track, avoiding telegraph 
wires, and get machine off track as could hear train com- 
ing, awful job. Nerves not very good. Once when up 
at 200 ft. height h from which Tony Bean fell, I saw his 
face right in air in front of me and jumped so I jerked 
the stuffings out of control wires. 



March 15. Just out of hospital, after three weeks 
there, broken leg still in splints. Glad Walter MacM 
got through in time limit, got prize. Too weak and shaky 
write much, shoulder still hurts. 

March 18. How I came to fall (fall that broke my leg, 
three weeks ago). Was flying over rough country when 
bad gust came through hill defile. Wing crumpled. Up 
at 400 ft. Machine plunged forward then sideways. 
Gosh, I thought, I'm gone, but will live as long as I can, 
even a few seconds more, and kept working with elevator, 
trying to right her even a little. Ground coming up 
fast. Must have jumped, I think. Landed in marsh, 
that saved my life, but woke up at doctor's house, leg 
busted and shoulder bad, etc. Machine shot to pieces, 
but Martin Dockerill has it pretty well repaired. He and 
the doc and I play poker every day, Martin always wins 
with his dog-gone funeral face no matter though he has 
an ace full. 

March 24. Leg all right, pretty nearly. Rigged up 
steering bar so I can work it with one foot. Flew a mile 
to-day, went not badly. Hope to fly at Springfield, 111. 
meet next week. Will be able to make Brazil trip with 
Forrest Haviland all right. The dear old boy has been 
writing to me every day while I've been laid up. News- 
papers have made a lot of my flying so soon again, several 
engagements and now things look bright again. Reading 
lots and chipper as can be. 

209 o 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

March 25. Forrest Haviland is dead. He was killed 
to-day. 

March 27. Disposed of monoplane by telegraph. 
Got Martin job with Sunset Aviation Company. 

March 28. Started for Europe. 

May 8, Paris. Forrest and I would have met to-day 
in New York to perfect plans for Brazil trip. 

May 10. Am still trying to answer letter from For- 
rest's father. Can't seem to make it go right. If I could 
have seen Forrest again. But maybe they were right, 
holding funeral before I could get there. Captain Faber 
says Forrest was terribly crushed, falling from 1700 ft. 
I wish I didn't keep on thinking of plans for our Brazil 
trip, then remembering we won't make it after all. I 
don't think I will fly till fall, anyway, though I feel stronger 
now after rest in England, Titherington has beautiful 
place in Devonshire. England seems to stick to biplane, 
can't make them see monoplane. Don't think I shall 
fly before fall. To-day I would have been with Forrest 
Haviland in New York, I think he could have got leave 
for Brazil trip. We would taken Martin. Tony promised 
to meet us in Rio. I like France but can't get used to 
language, keep starting to speak Spanish. Maybe I'll 
fly here in France but certainly not for some time, though 
massage has fixed me all O.K. Am studying French. 
Maybe shall bicycle through France. Mem. : Write 
to Colonel Haviland when I can. 

Must when I can. 



210 



PART III 
The Adventure of Love 

CHAPTER XXIV 

IN October, 1912, a young man came with an enthu- 
siastic letter from the president of the Aero Club to old 
Stephen VanZile, vice-president and general manager 
of the VanZile Motor Corporation of New York. The 
young man was quiet, self-possessed, an expert in regard 
to motors, used to meeting prominent men. He was 
immediately set to work at a tentative salary of $2,500 a 
year, to develop the plans of what he called the " Touri- 
car " an automobile with all camping accessories, which 
should enable motorists to travel independent of inns, 
add the joy of camping to the joy of touring, and a 
feature of nearly all inventions add money to the purse 
of the inventor. 

The young man was Carl Ericson, whom Mr. VanZile 
had seen fly at New Orleans during the preceding February. 
Carl had got the idea of the Touricar while wandering 
by motor-cycle through Scandinavia and Russia. 

He was, at this time, twenty-seven years old ; not 
at all remarkable in appearance nor to be considered 
handsome, but so clean, so well bathed, so well set-up 
and evenly tanned, that one thought of the swimming, 
dancing, tennis-playing city men of good summer resorts, 
an impression enhanced by his sleek corn-silk hair and 
small, pale moustache. His clothes came from London, 
his watch-chain was a thin line of platinum and gold, 
his cigarette-case of silver engraved in inconspicuous 
bands a modest and sophisticated cigarette-case, which 
he had possessed long enough to forget that he had it. 
He was apparently too much the easy, well-bred, rather 
inexperienced Yale or Princeton man (not Harvard ; there 
was a tiny twang in his voice, and he sometimes mur- 
mured " Gee ! ") to know much about life or work, as 

211 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

yet, and his smooth, rosy cheeks made it absurdly evident 
that he had not been away from the college insulation 
for more than two years. 

But when he got to work with draftsman and steno- 
graphers, when a curt kindliness filled his voice, he proved 
to be concentrated, unafraid of responsibility, able to 
keep many people busy ; trained to something besides 
family tradition and the collegians' naive belief that it 
matters who wins the Next Game. 

His hands would have given away the fact that he had 
done things. They were large, broad ; the knuckles 
heavy; the palms calloused by something rougher than 
oar and tennis-racket. The microscopic traces of black 
grease did not for months quite come out of the cracks 
in his skin. And two of his well-kept but thick nails 
had obviously been smashed. 

The men of the same rank as himself in the office, 
captains and first lieutenants of business, said that he 
" simply ate up work/' They fancied, with the eager 
old-womanishness of office gossip, that he had a " secret 
sorrow," for, though he was pleasant enough, he kept 
very much to himself. The cause of his retirement from 
aviation was the theme of many romantic legends. They 
did not know precisely what it was he had done in the 
prehistoric period of a year before, but they treated him 
with reverence instead of the amused aloofness with 
which an office usually waits to see whether a new man 
will prove to be a fool or a " grouch," a clown or a good 
fellow. The stenographers and filing-girls and telephone- 
girls followed with yearning eyes the hero's straight 
back. The girl who discovered, in an old New York 
Chronicle lining a bureau drawer, an interview with Carl, 
became very haughty over its possession and lent it only 
to her best lady friends. The older women, who knew that 
Carl had had a serious accident, whispered in cloakroom 
confidences, " Poor fellow, and so brave about it." 

Yet all the while Carl's china-blue eyes showed no 
trace of pain nor sorrow nor that detestable appeal for 
sympathy called " being brave about his troubles." 

212 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

There were many thoughtful features which fitted the 
Touricar for use in camping extra-sized baggage-box 
whose triangular shape made the car more nearly stream- 
line, special folding silk tents, folding aluminium cooking- 
utensils, electric stove run by current from the car, electric- 
battery light attached to a curtain-rod. But the dis- 
tinctive feature, the one which Carl could patent, was 
the means by which a bed was made up inside the car as 
Pullman seats are turned into berths. The back of the 
front seat was hinged, and dropped back to horizontal. 
The upholstery back of the back seat could be taken out 
and also placed on the horizontal. With blankets spread 
on the level space thus provided, with the extra-heavy top 
and side curtains in place, and the electric light switched 
on, tourists had a refuge cleaner than a country hotel 
and safer than a tent. . . . 

The first Touricar was being built. Carl was circu- 
larizing a list of possible purchasers, and corresponding 
with makers of camping goods. 

Because he was not office-broken he did not worry 
about the risks of the new enterprise. The stupid details 
of affairs had, for him, a soul the Adventure of Business. 

To be consulted by draftsmen and shop foremen ; 
to feel that if he should not arrive at 8.30 a.m. to the 
second the most important part of all the world's business 
would be halted and stenographers loll in expensive idle- 
ness ; to have the chief, old VanZile, politely anxious as 
to how things were going ; to plan ways of making a 
million dollars and not have the plans seem fantastic 
all these made it interesting to overwork, and hypnotized 
Carl into a feeling of responsibility which was less spec- 
tacular than flying before thousands, but more in accord- 
ance with the spirit of the time and place. 

Inside the office busy and reaching for success. Out- 
side the office frankly bored. 

Carl was a dethroned prince. He had been accus- 
tomed to a more than royal court of admirers. Now he 
was a nobody the moment he went twenty feet from 
his desk. He was forgotten. He did not seek out the 

213 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

many people he had met when he was an aviator and a 
somebody. He believed, perhaps foolishly, that they 
liked him only as a personage, not as a person. He sat 
lonely at dinner, in cheap restaurants with stains on 
the table-cloths, for he had put much of his capital into 
the new Touricar Company, mothered by the VanZile 
Corporation ; and aeroplanes, accessories, travelling- 
expenses, and the like had devoured much of his large 
earnings at aviation before he had left the game. 

In his large, shabby, fairly expensive furnished room 
on Seventy-fifth Street he spent unwilling evenings, 
working on Touricar plans, or reading French French 
technical motor literature, light novels, Balzac, any- 
thing. 

He tried to keep in physical form, and, much though 
the routine and silly gestures of gymnasium exercises 
bored him, he took them three times a week. He could 
not explain the reason, but he kept his identity con- 
cealed at the gymnasium, giving his name as " O. Ericson." 

Even at the Aero Club, where scores knew him by 
sight, he was a nobody. Aviation, like all pioneer arts, 
must look to the men who are doing new things or plan- 
ning new things, not to heroes past. Carl was often alone 
at lunch at the club. Any group would have welcomed 
him, but he did not seek them out. For the first time he 
really saw the interior decorations of the club. In the 
old days he had been much too busy talking with active 
comrades to gaze about. But now he stared for five 
minutes together at the stamped-leather wall-covering 
of the dining-room. He noted, much too carefully for a 
happy man, the trophies of the lounging-room. But at 
one corner he never glanced. For here was a framed 
picture of the forgotten Hawk Ericson, landing on Gov- 
ernor's Island, winner of the flight from Chicago to New 
York. . . . Such a beautiful swoop ! . . . 

There is no doubt of the fact that he disliked the suc- 
cessful new aviators, and did so because he was jealous 
of them. He admitted the fact, but he could not put into 
his desire to be a good boy one-quarter of the force that 

214 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

inspired his resentment at being a lonely man and a nobody. 
But, since he knew he was envious, he was careful not 
to show it, not to inflict it upon others. He was gracious 
and added a wrinkle between his brows, and said " Gosh ! " 
and " ain't " much less often. 

He had few friends these days. Death had taken 
many ; and he was wary of lion-hunters, who in dull 
seasons condescend to ex-lions and dethroned princes. 
But he was fond of a couple of Aero Club men, an auto- 
mobile ex-racer who was a selling-agent for the VanZile 
Corporation, and Charley Forbes, the bright-eyed, curly- 
headed, busy, dissipated little reporter who had followed 
him from Chicago to New York for the Chronicle. Occa- 
sionally one of the men with whom he had flown Hank 
Odell or Walter MacMonnies or Lieutenant Rutledge 
of the navy came to town, and Carl felt natural again. 
As for women, the only girl whom he had known well 
in years, Istra Nash, the painter, had gone to California 
to keep house for her father till she should have an excuse 
to escape to New York or Europe again. 

Inside the office a hustling, optimistic young business 
man. For the rest of the time a dethroned prince. 
Such was Carl Ericson in November, 1912, when a letter 
from Gertrude Cowles, which had pursued him all over 
America and Europe, finally caught him : 



" - West 157* St. 

"New York. 

"CARL DEAR, Oh, such excitement, we have come to 
New York to live ! Ray has such a good position with a 
big NY real estate co. and Mamma and I are going to make 
a home for him even if it's only just a flat (but it's quite a 
big one and looks out on the duckiest old house that must 
have been adorning Harlem for heaven knows how long, 
and our house has all modern conveniences, elevator and 
all. 

"Think, Carl, I'm going to study dancing at Madame 
Vashkowska's school she was with the Russian ballet 
and really is almost as wonderful a dancer as Isadora 

215 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Duncan or Pavlova. Perhaps I'll teach all these ducky 
new dances to children some day. I'm just terribly 
excited to be here, like the silliest gushiest little girl in 
the world. And I do hope so much you will be able to 
come to NY and honour us with your presence at dinner, 
famous aviator our Carl and we are so proud of you if 
you will still remember simple people like us do come 
any time. Wonder where you will be when this reaches 
you. 

" I read in the papers that your accident isn't serious, 
but I am worried. Oh, Carl, you must take care of yourself. 

"Yours as ever, 

" GERTIE. 

"P.S. Mamma sends her best regards, so does Ray, 
he has a black moustache now, we tease him about it 
dreadfully. 



One minute after reading the letter, in his room, Carl 
was standing on the chaste black-and-white tiles of the 
highly respectable white-arched hall downstairs asking 

Information for the telephone number of West 

1 57th Street, while his landlord, a dry-bearded goat 
of a physician who had failed in the practice of medicine 
and was now failing in the practice of boarding-houses, 
listened from the front of the hall. 

Glad to escape from the funereally genteel house, Carl 
hastily changed his collar and tie and, like the little boy 
Carl whom Gertie had known, dog-trotted to the sub- 
way, which was going to take him Home. 



216 



CHAPTER XXV 

BEFORE the twelve-story Bendingo Apartments, Carl 
scanned the rows of windows which pierced the wall 
like bank-swallows' nests in a bold cliff. . . . One group 
of those windows was home Joralemon and memories, 
Gertie's faith and understanding. ... It was she who 
had always understood him. ... In anticipation he 
loitered through the big, marble-and-stucco, rug and 
rubber-tree, negro hallboy and Jew tenant hallway. . . . 
What would the Cowles be like, now ? 

Gertie met him in the coat-smelling private hall of the 
Cowles' apartment, greeted him with both hands clasping 
his, and her voice catching in, " Oh, Carl, it's so good to 
see you ! " Behind Gertie was a swishing, stiff-backed 
Mrs. Cowles, piping in a high, worn voice : " Mr. Eric- 
son ! A friend from home ! And such a famous friend ! " 

Gertie drew him into the living-room. He looked 
at her. 

He found, not a girl, but a woman of thirty, plump, 
solid, with the tiniest wrinkles of past unhappiness or 
ennui at the corners of her mouth ; but her eyes radiant 
with sweetness, and her hair appealingly soft and brown 
above her wide, calm forehead. She was gowned in 
lavender crepe de Chine, with panniers of satin elabor- 
ately sprinkled with little bunches of futurist flowers ; 
long jet earrings ; a low-cut neck that hinted of a 
comfortable bosom. Eyes shining, hands firm on his arm, 
voice ringing, she was unaffectedly glad to see him her 
childhood playmate, whom she had not beheld for seven 
years. 

Mrs. Cowles was waiting for them to finish their greet- 
ings. Carl was startled to find Mrs. Cowles smaller than 
he had remembered, her hair nearly white and not per- 
fectly matched, her face criss-crossed with wrinkles deeper 
than her age justified. But her old disapproval of Carl, 
son of a carpenter and cousin of a " hired girl," was gone. 
She even laughed mildly, like a kitten sneezing. And 
from a room somewhere beyond Ray shouted : 

217 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Be right there in a second, old man. Crazy to have 
a look at you." 

Carl did not really see the living-room, their back- 
ground. Indeed, he never really saw it. There was 
nothing to see chairs and a table and pictures of meadows 
and roses. It was comfortable, however, and had con- 
veniences a folding card-table, a cribbage-board, score- 
pads for whist and five hundred ; a humidor of cigars ; 
a large Morris chair and an ugly but well-padded couch of 
green tufted velveteen. 

They sat about in chairs, talking. 

Ray came in, slapped Carl on the back, roared : " Well, 
here's the stranger ! Holy Mike ! have you got a mous- 
tache, too ? Better shave it off before Gert starts kidding 
you about it. Have a cigar ? " 

Carl felt at home for the first time in a year ; for the 
first time talked easily. 

" Say, Gertie, tell me about my folks, and Bone Still- 
man/' 

" Why, I saw your father just before we left, Carl. 
You know he still does quite a little business. We got 
your mother to join the Nautilus Club she doesn't go 
very often ; but she had a nice paper about ' Java and 
Its Products/ and she helps us a lot with the rest-room. 
I haven't seen Mr. Stillman for a long, long time. Ray, 
what has " 

Ray : " Why, I think old Bone's oft on some expedition 
'r other. Fellow told me Bone was some kind of a forest 
ranger or mine inspector, or some darn thing, up in the 
Big Woods. He must be pretty well along toward seventy 
now, at that." 

Carl : " So dad 's getting along well. His letters aren't 
very committal. . . . Oh. say, Gertie, what ever became 
of Ben Rusk ? I've lost track of him entirely." 

Gertie : " Why, didn't you know ? He went to Rush 
Medical College. They say he did splendidly there ; he 
stood awfully well in his classes, and now he's in practice 
with his father, home." 

Carl: "Rush?" 

218 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 
Gertie : " Yes, you know, in Chi- 



Carl : " Oh yes, sure ; in Chicago ; sure, I remember 
now ; I saw it when I was there one time. Why ! That's 
the school his father went to, wasn't it ? " 

Ray : " Yes, sure, that's the one." 

The point seemed settled. 

Carl : " Well, well, so Ben did study medicine, after 
Oh, say, how's Adelaide Benner ? " 

Gertie : " Why, you'll see her ! She's coming to New 
York in just a couple of weeks to stay with us till she 
gets settled. Just think, she's to have a whole year 
here, studying domestic science, and then she's to have a 
perfectly dandy position teaching in the Fargo High 
School. I'm not supposed to tell you mustn't breathe 
a word of it " 

Mrs. Cowles (interrupting) : " Adelaide is a good girl. 
. . . Ray ! Don't tilt your chair ! " 

Gertie : " Yes, isn't she, mamma. . . . Well, I was 
just saying : between you and me, Carl, she is to have 
the position in Fargo all ready and waiting for her, though 
of course they can't announce it publicly, with all the 
cats that would like to get it, and all. Isn't that fine ? " 

Carl : " Certainly is. ... 'Member the time we had 
the May party at Adelaide's, and all I could get for my 
basket was rag babies and May flowers ? Gee, but I 
felt out of it ! " 

Gertie : " We did have some good parties, didn't we ! " 

Ray : " Don't call that much of a good party for Carl ! 
Ring off, Gert ; you got the wrong number that time, 
all right ! " 

Gertie (flushing) : " Oh, I didn't mean But we 

did have some good times. Oh, Carl, will you ever forget 
the time you and I ran away when we were just babies ? " 

Carl : " I'll never forget " 

Mrs. Cowles : " I'll never forget that time ! My lands ! 
I thought I should die, I was so frightened." 

Carl : " You've forgiven me now, though, haven't 
you ? " 

Mrs. Cowles : " My dear boy, of course I have ! " (She 

219 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

wiped away a few tears with a handkerchief of lace and 
thin linen. Carl crossed the room and kissed her pale- 
veined, silvery old hand. Abashed, he subsided on the 
couch, and, trying to look as though he hadn't done it ) 

Carl : " Ohhhhh say, whatever did become of 

Oh, I can't think of his name Oh, you know 

I know his name well as I do my own, but it's slipped 

me, just for the moment You know, he ran the 

billiard-parlour ; the son of the " 

(From Mrs. Cowles, a small, disapproving sound ; from 
Ray, a grin of knowing naughtiness and a violent head- 
shake.) 

Gertie (gently) : " Yes. . . . He has left Joralemon. 
. . . Klemm, you mean." 

Carl (hastily, wondering what Eddie Klemm had done) : 
" Oh, I see. . . . Have there been many changes in 
Joralemon ? " 

Mrs. Cowles : " Do you write to your father and mother, 
Carl ? You ought to." 

Carl : " Oh yes, I write to them quite often, now, though 
for a time I didn't." 

Mrs. Cowles : " I'm glad, my boy. It's pretty good, 
after all, to have home folks that you can depend on, 
isn't it ? When I first went to Joralemon, I thought it 
was a little pokey, but now I'm older, and I've been there 
so long and all, that I'm almost afraid of New York, and 
I declare I do get real lonely for home sometimes. I'd 
be glad to see Dr. Rusk Ben's father, I mean, the old 
doctor driving by, though of course you know I lived 
in Minneapolis a great many years, and I do feel I ought 
to take advantage of the opportunities here, and I've 
thought quite seriously about taking up French again, 

it's so long since I've studied it You ought to study 

it ; you will find it cultivates the mind. And you must 
be sure to write often to your mother ; there's nothing 
you can depend on like a mother's love, my boy." 

Ray : " Say, look here, Carl, I want to hear some- 
thing about all this aviation. How does it feel to fly, 
anyway ? I'd be scared to death ; it's funny, I can't look 

220 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

off the top of a sky-scraper without feeling as though I 
wanted to jump. Gosh ! I " 

Gertie : " Now you just let Carl tell us when he gets 
ready, you big, bad brother ! Carl wants to hear all 
about Home first. . . . All these years ! . . . You 
were asking about the changes. There haven't been so 
very many. You know it's a little slow there. Oh, of 
course, I almost forgot ; why, you haven't been in Jorale- 
mon since they built up what used to be Tubbs's pasture." 

Carl : " Not the old pasture by the lake ? Well, well ! 
Is that a fact 1 Why, gee ! I used to snare gophers 
there ! " 

Gertie : " Oh yes. Why, you simply wouldn't know 
it, Carl, it's so much changed. There must be a dozen 
houses on it, now. Why, there's cement walks and every- 
thing, and Mr. Upham has a house there, a real nice one, 
with a screened-in porch and everything. ... Of course 
you know they've put in the sewer now, and there's lots 
of modern bathrooms, and almost everybody has a Ford. 
We would have bought one, but planning to come away 

so soon Oh yes, and they've added a fire-escape 

to the school-house." 

Carl : " Well, well ! . . . Oh, say, Ray, how is Howard 
Griffin getting along ? " 

Ray : " Why, Howard's graduated from Chicago Law 
School, and he's practising in Denver. Doing pretty 
well, I guess ; settled down and got quite some real-estate 
holdings. . . . Have 'nother cigar, old man ? . . . Say, 
speaking of Plato, of course you know they ousted old 
S. Alcott Woodski from the presidency, for heresy, some- 
thing about baptism ; and the dean succeeded him. . . . 
Poor old cuss, he wasn't as mean as the dean, anyway. 
. . . Say, Carl, I've always thought they gave you a 
pretty raw deal there " 

Gertie (interrupting) : " Perfectly dreadful ! . . . Ray, 
don't put your feet on that couch ; I brushed it thoroughly, 
just this morning. ... It was simply terrible, Carl; 
I've always said that if Plato couldn't appreciate her 

greatest son " 

221 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Mrs. Cowles (sleepily) : " Outrageous. . . . And don't 
put your feet on that chair, Ray." 

Ray : " Oh, leave my feet alone ! . . . Everybody 
knew you were dead right in standing up for Prof. Frazer. 
You remember how I roasted all the fellows in Omega 
Chi when they said you were nutty to boost him ? And 
when you stood up in Chapel Lord ! that was nervy." 

Gertie : " Indeed you were right, and now you've got 
so famous I guess " 

Carl : " Oh, I ain't so " 

Mrs. Cowles : "I was simply amazed. . . . Children, 
if you don't mind, I'm afraid I must leave you. Mr. 
Ericson, I'm so ashamed to be sleepy so early. When 
we lived in Minneapolis, before Mr. Cowles passed beyond, 
he was a regular night-hawk, and we used to sit sit " 
(a yawn) " sit up till all hours. But to-night " 

Gertie : " Oh, must you go so soon ? I was just going 
to make Carl a rarebit. Carl has never seen one of my 
rarebits." 

Mrs. Cowles : " Make him one by all means, my dear, 
and you young people sit up and enjoy yourselves just 
as long as you like. Good night, all. . . . Ray, will 
you please be sure and see that that window is fastened 

before you go to bed ? I get so nervous when Mr. 

Ericson, I'm very proud to think that one of our Jora- 
lemon boys should have done so well. Sometimes I 
wonder if the Lord ever meant men to fly what with 
so many accidents, and you know aviators often do get 
killed and all. I was reading the other day such a large 

percentage But we have been so proud that you 

should lead them all, I was saying to a lady on the train 
that we had a friend who was a famous aviator, and she 
was so interested to find that we knew you. Good night." 

They had the Welsh rarebit, with beer, and Carl helped 
to make it. Gertie summoned him into the scoured 
kitchen, saying, with a beautiful casualness, as she tied 
an apron about him : 

" We can't afford a hired girl (I suppose I should say 
a ' maid '), because mamma has put so much of our money 

222 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

into Ray's business, so you mustn't expect anything so 
very grand. But you'd like to help, wouldn't you ? 
You're to chop the cheese. Cut it into weenty cubes." 

Carl did like to help. He boasted that he was the 
" champion cheese-chopper of Harlem and the Bronx, 
one-thirty-three ringside," while Gertie was toasting 
crackers, and Ray was out buying bottles of beer in a 
newspaper. It all made Carl feel more than ever at 
home. ... It was good to be with people of such divine 
understanding that they knew what he meant when he 
said, " I suppose there have been worse teachers than 
Prof. Larsen I " 

When the rabbit lay pale in death, a saddening debdcle 
of hardened cheese, and they sat with their elbows on 
the Modified Mission dining-table, Gertie exclaimed : 

" Oh, Ray, you must do that new stunt of yours for 
Carl. It's screamingly funny, Carl." 

Ray rose, had his collar and tie off in two jocund jerks, 
buttoned his collar on backward, cheerily turned his 
waistcoat back side foremost, lengthened his face to an 
expression of unctuous sanctimoniousness, and turned 
about transformed in one minute to a fair imitation 
of a stage curate. With his hands folded, Ray droned, 
" Naow, sistern, it behooveth us heuh in St. Timothee's 
Chutch," while Carl pounded the table in his delight at 
seeing old Ray, the broad-shouldered, the lady-killer, 
the capable business man, drop his eyes and yearn. 

" Now you must do a stunt ! " shrieked Ray and Gertie ; 
and Carl hesitatingly sang what he remembered of Forrest 
Haviland's foolish song : 

" I went up in a balloon so big 
The people on the earth they looked like a pig, 
Like a mice, like a katydid, like flieses and like fleasen." 

Then, without solicitation, Gertie decided to dance 
" Gather the Golden Sheaves," which she had learned at 
the school of Mme. Vashkowska, late (though not very 
late) of the Russian ballet. 

223 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

She explained her work ; outlined the theory of sen- 
suous and aesthetic dancing ; mentioned the backgrounds 
of Bakst and the glories of Nijinsky ; told her ambition 
to teach the New Dancing to children. Carl listened 
with awe ; and with awe did he gaze as Gertie gathered 
the Golden Sheaves purely hypothetical sheaves in a 
field occupying most of the living-room. 

After the stunts Ray delicately vanished. It was not 
so much that he statedly went off to bed as that, pre- 
sently, he was not there. Gertie and Carl were snugly 
alone, and at last he talked of Forrest Haviland and 
Tony Bean, of flying and falling, of excited crowds and 
the fog-filled air-lanes. 

In turn she told of her ambition to do something modern 
and urban. She had hesitated between dancing and 
making exotic jewellery ; she was glad she had chosen 
the former ; it was so human ; it put one in touch with 
People. . . . She had recently gone to dinner with real 
Bohemians, spirits of fire, splendidly in contrast with the 
dull plodders of Joralemon. The dinner had been at a 
marvellous place on West Tenth Street very foreign, 
every one drinking wine and eating spaghetti and little 
red herrings, and the women fearlessly smoking cigarettes 
some of them. She had gone with a girl from Mme. 
Vashkowska's school, a glorious creature from London, 
Nebraska, who lived with the most fascinating girls at 
the Three Arts Club. They had met an artist with black 
hair and languishing eyes, who had a Yankee name, but 
sang Italian songs divinely, upon the slightest pretext, 
so bubbling was he with joie de vivre. 

Carl was alarmed. " Gosh ! " he protested, " I hope 
you aren't going to have much to do with the long-haired 
bunch. . . . I've invented a name for them ' the 
Hobohemians.' " 

" Oh no-o ! I don't take them seriously at all. I 
was just glad to go once." 

" Of course some of them are clever." 

" Oh yes, aren't they clever ! " 

" But I don't think they last very well." 
224 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Oh no, I'm sure they don't last well. Oh no, Carl, 
I'm too old and fat to be a Bohemian a Hobohemian, I 
mean, so " 

" Nonsense ! You look so oh, thunder ! I don't 
know just how to express it well, so real \ It's wonder- 
fully comfortable to be with you all again. I don't mean 
you're just the * so good to her mother ' sort, you under- 
stand. But I mean you're dependable as well as artistic." 

" Oh, indeed, I won't take them too seriously. Besides, 
I suppose lots of the people that go to Bohemian restau- 
rants aren't really artists at all ; they just go to see the 

artists ; they're just as bromidic as can be Don't 

you hate bromides ? Of course I want to see some of 

that part of life, but I think Oh, don't you think 

those artists and all are dreadfully careless about morals ? " 

" Well " 

" Yes," she breathed, reflectively. " No, I keep up 
with my church and all indeed I do. Oh, Carl, you 
must come to our church St. Orgul's. It's too sweet 
for anything. It's just two streets from here ; and it 
isn't so far up here, you know, not with the subway not 
like commuting. It has the loveliest chapel. And the 
most wonderful reredc 3. And the services are so inspiring 
and high-church ; not like that horrid St. Timothy's 
at home. I do think a church service ought to be beauti- 
ful. Don't you ? It isn't as though we were like a lot 
of poor people who have to have their souls saved in a 
mission. . . . What church do you attend ? You will 
come to St. Orgul's some time, won't you ? " 

" Be glad to Oh, say, Gertie, before I forget it, 

what is Semina doing now ? Is she married ? " 

Apropos of this subject, Gertie let it be known that 
she herself was not betrothed. 

Carl had not considered that question ; but when he 
was back in his room he was glad to know that Gertie 
was free. 

At the Omega Chi Delta Club, Carl lunched with Ray 
Cowles. Two nights later, Ray and Gertie took Carl 

225 p 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and Gertie's friend, the glorious creature from London, 
Nebraska, to the opera. Carl did not know much about 
opera. In other words, being a normal young American 
who had been water-proofed with college culture, he 
knew absolutely nothing about it. But he gratefully 
listened to Gertie's clear explanation of why Mme. Vash- 
kowska preferred Wagner to Verdi. 

He had, in the meantime, received a formal invitation 
for a party to occur at Gertie's the coming Friday evening. 

Thursday evening Gertie coached him in a new dance, 
the turkey trot. She also gave him a lesson in the Boston 
with a new dip invented by Mme. Vashkowska, which 
was certain to sweep the country, because, of course, 
Vashkowska was the only genuinely qualified mattresse 
de danse in America. 

It was a beautiful evening. Home ! Ray came in 
and the three of them had coffee and thin sandwiches. 
At Gertie's suggestion, Ray again turned his collar round 
and performed his " clergyman stunt." While the imper- 
sonation did not, perhaps, seem so humorous as before, 
Carl was amused ; and he consented to sing the " I went 
up in a balloon so big " song, so that Ray might learn 
it and sing it at the office. 

It was captivating to hear Gertie say, quietly, as he 
left : "I hope you'll be able to come to the party a little 
early to-morrow, Carl. You know we count on you to 
help us." 



226 



CHAPTER XXVI 

THE party was on at the Cowles' flat. 
People came. They all set to it, having a party, 
being lively and gay, whether they wanted to or not. 
They all talked at once, and had delicious shocks over 
the girl from London, Nebraska, who, having moved to 
Washington Place, just a block or two from ever so many 
artists, was now smoking a cigarette, and wearing a gown 
that was black and clinging. It was no news to her that 
men had a tendency to become interested in her ankles. 
But she still went to church and was accepted by quite 
the nicest of the St. Orgul's set, to whom Gertie had 
introduced her 

She and Gertie were the only thoroughly qualified 
representatives of Art, but Beauty and Gallantry and 
Wit were common. The conspirators in holding a party 
were, on the male side : 

An insurance adjuster, who was a f rat-brother to Carl 
and Ray, though he came from Melanchthon College. A 
young lawyer ever so jolly, with a banjo. A bantling 
clergyman, who was spoken of with masculine approval 
because he smoked a pipe and said charmingly naughty 
things. Johnson of the Homes and Long Island Real 
Estate Company, and his brother, of the Martinhurst 
Development Company. Four older men, ranging from 
thin-haired to very bald, who had come with their wives 
and secretly looked at their watches while they talked 
brightly with one another's wives. Five young men 
whom Carl could not tell apart, as they all had smooth 
hair and eyeglasses and smart dress-shirts and obliging 
smiles and complimentary references to his flying. He 
gave up trying to remember which was which. 

It was equally hard to remember which of the women 
Gertie knew as a result of her girlhood visit to New York, 
which from their membership in St. Orgul's Church; which 
from their relation to Minnesota. They all sat in rows 
on couches and chairs and called him " You wicked man ! " 
for reasons none too clear to him. He finally fled from 

227 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

them and joined the group of young men, who showed 
an ill-bred and disapproved tendency to sneak off into 
Ray's room for a smoke. He did not, however, escape 
one young woman who stood out from the melee a young 
woman with a personality almost as remarkable as that 
of the glorious creature from London, Nebraska. This 
was the more or less married young woman named 
Dorothy, and affectionately called " Tottykins " by all 
the St. Orgul's group. She was of the kind who look 
at men appraisingly, and expect them to come up, be 
unduly familiar, and be crushed. She had seven distinct 
methods of getting men to say indiscreet things, and 
three variations of reply, of which the favourite was to 
remark with well-bred calmness : " I'm afraid you have 

made a slight error, Mr. Uh I didn't quite catch 

your name ? Perhaps they failed to tell you that I attend 
St. Orgul's evvvv'ry Sunday, and have a husband and 
child, and am not at all, really, you know. I hope that 
there has been nothing I said that has given you the 
idea that I have been looking for a flirtation." 

A thin, small female with bobbed hair was Tottykins, 
who kept her large husband and her fat, white grub of 
an infant somewhere in the back blocks. She fingered 
a long, gold, religious chain with her square, stubby hand, 
while she gazed into men's eyes with what she privately 
termed " daring frankness." 

Tottykins the fair ; Tottykins the modern ; Tottykins 
who had read Three Weeks and nearly all of a wicked 
novel in French, and wore a large gold cross ; Tottykins 
who worked so hard in her little flat that she had to rest 
all of every afternoon and morning ; Tottykins the ad- 
vanced and liberal yet without any of the extremes of 
socialists and artists and vegetarians and other ill-con- 
ditioned persons who do not attend St. Orgul's ; Totty- 
kins the firmly domestic, whose husband grew more 
worried every year ; Tottykins the intensely cultured 
and inquisitive about life, the primitively free and per- 
vasively original, who announced in public places that 
she wanted always to live like the spirit of the Dancing 

228 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Bacchante statue, but had the assistant rector of St. 
Orgul's in for coffee every fourth Monday evening. 

Tottykins beckoned Carl to a corner and said, with 
her manner of amused condescension, " Now you sit 
right down here, Hawk Ericson, and tell me all about 
aviation." 

Carl was not vastly sensitive. He had not disliked 
the nice young men with eyeglasses. Not till now did 
he realize how Tottykins's shrill references to the Dancing 
Bacchante and the Bacchanting of her mud-coloured 
Dutch-fashioned hair had bored him. Ennui was not, 
of course, an excuse ; but it was the explanation of why 
he answered in this wise (very sweetly, looking Tottykins 
in the eyes and patting her hand with a brother-like 
and altogether maddening condescension) : 

" No, no, that isn't the way, Dorothy. It's quite 
passe to ask me to tell you all about aviation. That 
isn't done, not in 1912. Oh Dor-o-thy ! Oh no, no ! 
No-o ! No, no. First you should ask me if I'm afraid 
when I'm flying. Oh, always begin that way. Then 
you say that there's a curious fact about you when 
you're on a high building and just look down once, then 
you get so dizzy that you want to jump. Then, after 
you've said that Let's see. You're a church mem- 
ber, aren't you ? Well then, next you'd say, ' Just how 
does it feel to be up in an aeroplane ? ' or if you don't 
say that then you've simply got to say, ' Just how does 
it feel to fly, anyway ? ' But if you're just terribly 
interested, Dorothy, you might ask about biplanes versus 
monoplanes, and ' Do I think there'll ever be a flight 
across the Atlantic ? ' But whatever you do, Dorothy, 
don't fail to ask me if I'll give you a free ride when I 

start flying again. And we'll fly and fly Like 

birds. You know. Or like the Dancing Bacchante. 
. . . That's the way to talk about aviation. . . . And 
now you tell me all about babies ! " 

" Really I'm afraid babies is rather a big subject to 
tell all about ! At a party 1 Really you know " 

That was the only time Carl was not bored at the party. 

22 9. 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

And even then he had spiritual indigestion from having 
been rude. 

For the rest of the time : 

Every one knew everybody else, and took Carl aside 
to tell him that everybody was "the most conscientious 
man in our office, Ericson ; why, the Boss would trust 
him with anything/' It saddened Carl to hear the insur- 
ance adjuster boom, " Oh you Tottykins ! " across the 
room, at ten-minute intervals, like a human fog-horn 
on the sea of ennui. 

They were all so uniformly polite, so neat-minded and 
church-going and dull. Nearly all the girls did their 
hair and coquetries one exactly like another. Carl is 
not to be pitied. He had the pleasure of martyrdom 
when he heard the younger Johnson tell of Martinhurst, 
the Suburb Beautiful. He believed that he had reached 
the nadir of boredom. But he was mistaken. 

After simple and pleasing refreshments of the wooden- 
plate and paper-napkin school, Gertie announced : " Now 
we're going to have some stunts, and you're each to give 
one. I know you all can, and if anybody tries to bcg^ 

off my, what will happen ! My brother has a new 

one " 

For the third time that month, Carl saw Ray turn his 
collar round and become clerical, while every one rustled 
with delight, including the jolly bantling clergyman. 

And for the fourth time he saw Gertie dance " Gather 
the Golden Sheaves/' She appeared, shy and serious, 
in bloomers and flat dancing-shoes, which made her ample 
calves bulge the more ; she started at sight of the harvest 
moon (and well she may have been astonished, if she 
did, indeed, see a harvest moon there, above the gilded 
buffalo horns on the unit bookcase), rose to her toes, 
flapped her arms, and began to gather the sheaves to her 
breast, with enough plump and panting energy to enable 
her to gather at least a quarter-section of them before 
the whistle blew. 

It was not only aesthetic, but Close to the Soil. 

Then, to banjo accompaniment, the insurance adjuster 

230 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

sighed for his old Kentucky home, which Carl judged 
to have been located in Brooklyn. The whole crowd 
joined in the chorus and 

Suddenly, with a shock that made him despise himself 
for the cynical superiority which he had been enjoying, 
Carl remembered that Forrest Haviland, Tony Bean, 
Hank Odell, even surly Jack Ryan and the alien Car- 
meau, had sung " My Old Kentucky Home " on their 
last night at the Bagby School. He felt their beloved 
presences in the room. He had to fight against tears 
as he too joined in the chorus. ... " Then weep no 
more, my lady/' . . . He was beside a California poppy- 
field. The blossoms slumbered beneath the moon, and 
on his shoulder was the hand of Forrest Haviland. . . . 

He had repented. He became part of the group. He 
spoke kindly to Tottykins. But presently Tottykins 
postponed her well-advertised return to her husband and 
baby, and gave a ten-minute dramatic recital from Byron ; 
and the younger Johnson sang a Swiss mountaineer song 
with yodels. 

Gertie looked speculativcly at Carl twice during this 
offering. He knew that the gods were plotting an abomin- 
able thing. She was going to call upon him for the 
" stunt " which had been inescapably identified with 
him, the song, " I went up in a balloon so big." He 
met the crisis heroically. He said loudly, as the shaky 
strains of the Swiss ballad died on the midnight mountain 
air of I57th Street (while the older men concealed yawns 
and applauded, and the family in the adjoining flat rapped 
on the radiator) : " I'm sorry my throat 's so sore to-night. 
Otherwise I'd sing a song I learned from a fellow in Cali- 
fornia balloon s' big." 

Gertie stared at him doubtfully, but passed to a kitten- 
faced girl from Minnesota, who was quite ready to give 
an imitation of a child whose doll has been broken. Her 
" stunt " was greeted with, " Oh, how cun-ning ! Please 
do it again ! " 

She prepared to do it again. Carl made hasty motions 
of departure, pathetically holding his throat. 

231 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

He did not begin to get restless till he had reached 
Ninety-sixth Street and had given up his seat in the 
subway to a woman who resembled Tottykins. He 
wondered if he had not been at the Old Home long enough. 
At Seventy-second Street, on an inspiration that came 
as the train was entering the station, he changed to a 
local and went down to Fifty-ninth Street. He found 
an all-night garage, hired a racing-car, and at dawn he 
was driving furiously through Long Island, a hundred 
miles from New York, on a roadway perilously slippery 
with falling snow. 



232 



CHAPTER XXVII 

CARL wished that Adelaide Benner had never come 
from Joralemon to study domestic science. He 
felt that he was a sullen brute, but he could not master 
his helpless irritation as he walked with Adelaide and 
Gertie Cowles through Central Park, on a snowy Sunday 
afternoon of December. Adelaide assumed that one 
remained in the state of mind called Joralemon all one's 
life ; that, however famous he might be, the son of Oscar 
Ericson was not sufficiently refined for Miss Cowles of the 
Big House on the Hill, though he might improve under 
Cowles' influences. He was still a person who had run 
away from Plato ! But that assumption was far less 
irritating than one into which Adelaide threw all of her 
faded yearning that Gertie and he were in love. 

Adelaide kept repeating, with coy shyness : " Isn't 
it too bad you two have me in the way ! " and : " Don't 
mind poor me. Auntie will turn her back any time you 
want her to." 

And Gertie merely blushed, murmuring, " Don't be a 
silly." 

At Eightieth Street Adelaide announced : " Now I 
must leave you children. I'm going over to the Metro- 
politan Museum of Art. I do love to see art pictures. 
I've always wanted to. Now be as good as you can, 
you two." 

Gertie was mechanical about replying. " Oh, don't 
run away, Addy dear." 

" Oh yes, you two will miss an old maid like me 
terribly ! " And Adelaide was off, a small, sturdy, undis- 
tinguished figure, with an unyielding loyalty to Gertie 
and to the idea of marriage. 

Carl looked at her bobbing back (with wrinkles in her 
cloth jacket over the shoulders) as she melted into the 
crowd of glossy fur-trimmed New-Yorkers. He com- 
prehended her goodness, her devotion. He sighed, " If 

she'd only stop this hinting about Gertie and me " 

He was repentant of his irritation, and said to Gertie, 

233 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

who was intimately cuddling her arm into his : " Ade- 
laide's an awfully good kid. Sorry she had to go. 1 ' 

Gertie jerked her arm away, averted her profile, grated : 
" If you miss her so much, perhaps you'd better run 
after her. Really, I wouldn't interfere, not for worlds ! " 

" Why, hello, Gertie ! What seems to be the matter ? 
Don't I detect a chill in the atmosphere ? I was just 
going to suggest some low-brow amusement like tea at 
the Casino." 

" Well, you ought to know a lady doesn't " 

" Oh, now, Gertie dear, not ' lady V 

" I don't think you're a bit nice, Carl Ericson, I don't, 
to be making fun of me when I'm serious. And why 
haven't you been up to see us ? Mamma and Ray have 
spoken of it, and you've o:Jy been up once since my 
party, and then you were " 

" Oh, please let's not start anything. Sorry I haven't 
been able to get up oftener, but I've been taking work 
home. You know how it is you know when you get 
busy with your dancing-school " 

" Oh, I meant to tell you. I'm through, just through 
with Vashkowska and her horrid old school. She's a cat, 
and I don't believe she ever had anything to do with 
the Russian ballet, either. What do you think she had 
the effrontery to tell me ? She said that I wasn't practis- 
ing and really trying to learn anything. And I've been 

working myself into Really, my nerves were in 

such a shape, I would have been in danger of a nervous 
breakdown if I had kept on. Tottykins told me how 
she had a nervous breakdown, and had me see her doctor, 
such a dear, Dr. St. Claire, so refined and sympathetic, 
and he told me I was right in suspecting that nobody 
takes Vashkowska seriously any more, and, besides, I 
don't think much of all this symbolistic dancing, anyway, 
and at last I've found out what I really want to do. Oh, 
Carl, it's so wonderful ! I'm studying ceramics with 
Miss Deitz, she's so wonderful and temperamental and 
she has the dearest studio on Gramercy Park. Of course 
I haven't made anything yet, but I know I'm going to 

234 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

like it so much, and Miss Deitz says I have a natural 
taste for vahzes and " 

" Huh ? Oh yes, vases. I get you." 

" (Don't be vulgar.) I'm going to go down to her 
studio and work every other day, and she doesn't think 
you have to work like a scrubwoman to succeed, like 
that horrid Vashkowska did. Miss Deitz has a tempera- 
ment herself. And, oh, Carl, she says that ' Gertrude ' 
isn't suited to me (and ' Gertie ' certainly isn't !) and she 
calls me ' Eltruda.' Don't you think that's a sweet 
name ? Would you like to call me ' Eltruda,' some- 
times ? " 

" Look here, Gertie, I don't want to butt in, and I'm 
guessing at it, but looks to me as though one of these 
artistic grafters was working you. What do you know 
about this Deitz preson ? Has she done anything worth 

while ? And honestly, Gertie By the way, I don't 

want to be brutal, but I don't think I could stand 
' Eltruda.' It sounds like ' Tottykins.' " 

" Now really, Carl " 

" Wait a second. How do you know you've got what 
you call a temperament ? Go to it, and good luck, if 
you can get away with it. But how do you know it 
isn't simply living in a flat and not having any work to 
do except developing a temperament ? Why don't you 
try working with Ray in his office ? He's a mighty good 
business man. This is just a sugges " 

" Now really, this is " 

" Look here, Gertie, the thing I've always admired 
about you is your wholesomeness and " 

" ' Wholesome ! ' Oh, that word ! As Miss Deitz 
was saying just the other day, it's as bad " 

" But you are wholesome, Gertie. That is, if you don't 
let New York turn your head ; and if you'd use your 
ability on a real job, like helping Ray, or teaching yes, 
or really sticking to your ceramics or dancing, and leave 
the temperament business to those who can get away 
with it. No, wait. I know I'm butting in ; I know that 
people won't go and change their natures because I ask 

235 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

them to ; but you see you and Ray and Adelaide you 

are the friends I depend on, and so I hate to see " 

" Now, Carl dear, you might let me talk," said Gertie, 
in tones of maddening sweetness. " As I think it over, 
I don't seem to recall that you've been an authority on 
temperament for so very long. I seem to remember 
that you weren't so terribly wonderful in Joralemon ! 
I'm glad to be the first to honour what you've done in 
aviation, but I don't know that that gives you the right 

J. 

" Never said it did ! " Carl insisted, with fictitious 
good humour. 

" assume that you are an authority on tempera- 
ment and art. I'm afraid that your head has been just 
a little turned by " 

" Oh, hell. ... Oh, I'm sorry. That just slipped." 

" It shouldn't have slipped, you know. I'm afraid 
it can't be passed over so easily.' 1 Gertie might have 
been a bustling Joralemon school-teacher pleasantly 
bidding the dirty Ericson boy, " Now go and wash the 
little hands." 

Carl said nothing. He was bored. He wished that 
he had not become entangled in their vague discussion 
of " temperament." 

Even more brightly Gertie announced : "I'm afraid 
you're not in a very good humour this afternoon. I'm 
sorry that my plans don't interest you. Of course, I 
should be very temperamental if I expected you to apolo- 
gize for cursing and swearing, so I think I'll just leave 

you here, and when you feel better " She was infuri- 

atingly cheerful. " I should be pleased for you to 
ring me up. Good-bye, Carl, and I hope that your walk 
will do you good." 

She turned into a footpath; left him muttering in 
tones of youthful injury, " Jiminy ! I've done it now ! " 

He was in Joralemon. 

A victoria drove by with a dowager who did not seem 
to be humbly courting the best set in Joralemon. A 
grin lightened Carl's face. He chuckled : " By golly ! 

236 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Gertie handled it splendidly ! I'm to ring up and be 
humble, and then bing ! the least I can do is to pro- 
pose and be led to the altar and teach a Sunday-school 
class at St. Orgul's for the rest of my life ! Come hither, 
Hawk Ericson, let us hold council. Here's the way 
Gertie will dope it out, I guess. (' Eltruda ! ') I'll 

dine in solitary regret for saying ' hell ' No. First 

I'm to walk down-town, alone and busy repenting, and 
then I'll feed alone, and by eight o'clock I'll be so tired 
of myself that I'll ring up and beg pretty. Rats ! 
It's rotten mean to dope it out like that, but just the 

same Me that have done what I've done worried 

to death over one accidental ' hell ' ! . . . Hey there, 
you taxi ! " 

Grandly he rode through the Park, and in an unre 
pentant manner bowed to every pretty woman he saw, to 
the disapproval of their silk-hatted escorts. 

He forgot the existence of Gertie Cowles and the Old 
Home Folks. 

But he really could not afford a taxicab, and he had to 
make up for it by economy. At seven-thirty he gloomily 
entered Miggleton's Restaurant, on Forty-second Street, 
the least unbearable of the " Popular Prices Tables for 
Ladies " dens, and slumped down at a table near the 
window. There were few diners. Carl was as much a 
stranger as on the morning when he had first invaded 
New York, to find work with an automobile company, 
and had passed this same restaurant ; still was he a segre- 
gated stranger, despite the fact that, two blocks away, 
in the Aero Club, two famous aviators were agreeing 
that there had never been a more consistently excellent 
flight in America than Hawk Ericson's race from Chicago 
to New York. 

Carl considered the delights of the Cowles' flat, Ray's 
stories about Plato and business, and the sentimental 
things Gertie played on the guitar. He suddenly deter- 
mined to go off some place and fly an aeroplane ; as 
suddenly knew that he was not yet ready to return to the 
game. He read the Evening Telegram and cheerlessly 

237 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

peered out of the window at the grey snow-veil which 
shrouded Forty-second Street. 

As he finished his dessert and stirred his coffee he stared 
into a street-car stalled in a line of traffic outside. Within 
the car, seen through the snow-mist, was a girl of twenty- 
two or three, with satiny slim features and ash-blond 
hair. She was radiant in white-fox furs. Carl craned 
to watch. He thought of the girl who, asking a direction 
before the Florida Lunch Room in Chicago, had inspired 
him to become a chauffeur. 

The girl in the street-car was listening to her companion, 
who was a dark-haired girl with humour and excitement 
about life in her face, well set-up, not tall, in a smartly 
tailored coat of brown pony-skin and a small hat that 
was all lines and no trimming. Both of them seemed 
amused, possibly by the lofty melancholy of a traffic 
policeman beside the car, who raised his hand as though 
he had high ideals and a slight stomach-ache. The dark- 
haired girl tapped her round knees with the joy of being 
alive. 

The street-car started. Carl was already losing in the 
city jungle the two acquaintances whom he had just 
made. The car stopped again, still blocked. Carl seized 
his coal:, dropped a fifty-cent piece on the cashier's desk, 
did not wait for his ten cents change, ran across the street 
(barely escaping a taxicab), galloped around the end of 
the car, swung up on the platform. 

As he took a seat opposite the two girls he asked him- 
self just what he expected to do now. The girls were 
unaware of his existence. And why had he hurried ? 
The car had not started again. But he studied his uncon- 
scious conquests from behind his newspaper, vastly content. 

In the unnatural quiet of the stalled car the girls were 
irreverently discussing " George/' He heard enough to 
know that they were of the rather smart, rather cultured 
class known as " New-Yorkers " they might be Russian- 
American princesses or social workers or ill-paid govern- 
esses or actresses or merely persons with one motor-car 
and a useful papa in the family. 

238 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

But in any case they were not of the kind he could 
pick up. 

The tall girl of the ash-blond hair seemed to be named 
Olive, being quite unolive in tint, while her livelier com- 
panion was apparently christened Ruth. Carl wearied 
of Olive's changeless beauty as quickly as he did of her 
silver-handled umbrella. She merely knew how to listen. 
But the less spectacular, less beautiful, less languorous, 
dark-haired Ruth was born a good comrade. Her laughter 
marked her as one of the women whom earthquake and 
flood and child-bearing cannot rob of a sense of humour ; 
she would have the inside view, the sophisticated under- 
standing of everything. 

The car was at last free of the traffic. It turned a 
corner and started northward. Carl studied the girls. 

Ruth was twenty-four, perhaps, or twenty-five. Not 
tall, slight enough to nestle, but strong and self-reliant. 
She had quantities of dark-brown hair, crisp and glinty, 
though not sleek, with eyebrows noticeably dark and 
heavy. Her smile was made irresistible by her splendidly 
shining teeth, fairly large but close-set and white ; and 
not only the corners of her eyes joined in her smile, but 
even her nose, her delicate yet piquant nose, which could 
quiver like a deer's. When she laughed, Carl noted, 
Ruth had a trick of lifting her heavy lids quickly, and 
surprising one with a glint of blue eyes where brown 
were expected. Her smooth, healthy, cream-coloured 
skin was rosy with winter, and looked as though in summer 
it would tan evenly, without freckles. Her chin was 
soft, but without a dimple, and her jaws had a clean, 
boyish leanness. Her smooth neck and delicious shoulders 
were curved, not fatly, but with youth and happiness. 
They were square, capable shoulders, with no mid- Vic- 
torian droop about them. Her waist was slender natur- 
ally, not from stays. Her short but not fat fingers were 
the ideal instruments for the piano. Slim were her crossed 
feet, and her unwrinkled pumps (foolish footgear for a 
snowy evening) seemed eager to dance. 

There was no hint of the coquette about her. Physical 

239 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

appeal this Ruth had, but it was the allure of sunlight 
and meadows, of tennis and a boat with bright, canted 
sails, not of boudoir nor garden dizzy-scented with jas- 
mine. She was young and clean, sweet without being 
sprinkled with pink sugar ; too young to know much 
about the world's furious struggle ; too happy to have 
realized its inevitable sordidness ; yet born a woman who 
would not always wish to be " protected," and round 
whom all her circle of life would centre. . . . 

So Carl inarticulately mused, with the intentness which 
one gives to strangers in a quiet car, till he laughed, " I 
feel as if I knew her like a book." The century's greatest 
problem was whether he would finally prefer her to Olive, 

if he knew them. If he could speak to them But 

that was, in New York, more difficult than beating a 
policeman or getting acquainted with the mayor. He 
would lose them. 

Already they were rising, going out. 

He couldn't let them be lost. He glanced out of the 
window, sprang up with an elaborate pretence that he 
had come to his own street. He followed them out, still 
conning head-lines in his paper. His grave absorption 
said, plain that all might behold, that he was a respect- 
able citizen to whom it would never occur to pursue strange 
young women. 

His new friends had been close to him in the illuminated 
car, but they were alien, unapproachable, when they 
stood on an unfamiliar street-crossing snow-dimmed and 
silent with night. He stared at a street-sign and found 
that he was in Madison Avenue. As they turned east 
on Fifty-blankth Street he stopped under the street- 
light, took an envelope from his pocket, and found on 
it the address of that dear old friend, living in Fifty- 
blankth, on whom he was going to call. This was to con- 
vince the policeman of the perfect purity of his intentions. 
The fact that there was no policeman nearer than the 
man on fixed post a block away did not lessen Carl's 
pleasure in the make-believe. He industriously inspected 
the house-numbers as he followed the quickly moving 

240 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

girls, and frequently took out his watch. Nothing 
should make him late in calling on that dear old 
friend. 

Not since Adam glowered at the intruder Eve has a 
man been so darkly uninterested in two charmers. He 
stared clear through them ; he looked over their heads ; 
he observed objects on the other side of the street. He 
indignantly told the imaginary policeman who stopped 
him that he hadn't even seen the girls till this moment ; 
that he was the victim of a plot. 

The block through which the cavalcade was passing 
was lined with shabby-genteel brownstone houses, with 
haughty dark doors, and dressmakers' placards or doctors' 
cards in the windows. Carl was puzzled. The girls 
seemed rather too cheerful to belong in this decayed 
and gloomy block, which, in the days when horsehair 
furniture and bankers had mattered, had seemed impos- 
ing. But the girls ascended the steps of a house which 
was typical of the row, except that five motor-cars stood 
before it. Carl, passing, went up the steps of the next 
house and rang the bell. 

" What a funny place ! " he heard one of the girls 
he judged that it was Ruth remark from the neighbour- 
ing porch. " It looks exactly like Aunt Emma when 
she wears an Alexandra fringe. Do we go right up ? 
Oughtn't we to ring ? It ought to be the craziest party 
anarchists ' ' 

" A party, eh ? " thought Carl. 

" ought to ring, I suppose, but Yes, there's 

sure to be all sorts of strange people at Mrs. Hallet's " 

said the voice of the other girl, then the door closed upon 
both of them. 

And an abashed Carl realized that a maid had opened 
the door of the house at which he himself had rung, and 
was glaring at him as he craned over to view the next- 
door porch. 

" W-where Does Dr. Brown live here ? " he 

stuttered. 

" No, *e don't/' the maid snapped, closing the door. 
241 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl groaned : " He don't ? Dear old Brown ? Not 
live here ? Huh ? What shall I do ? " 

In remarkably good spirits he moved over in front of 
the house into which Ruth and Olive had gone. People 
were coming to the party in twos and threes. Yes. The 
men were in evening clothes. He had his information. 

Swinging his stick up to a level with his shoulder at 
each stride, he raced to Fifty-ninth Street and the nearest 
taxi-stand. He was whirled to his room. He literally 
threw his clothes off. He shaved hastily, singing, " Will 
You Come to the Ball/' from " The Quaker Girl/' and 
slipped into evening clothes and his suavest dress-shirt. 
Seizing things all at once top-hat, muffler, gloves, pocket- 
book, handkerchief, cigarette-case, keys and hanging 
them about him as he fled down the decorous stairs, he 
skipped to the taxicab and started again for Fifty-blankth 
Street. 

At the house of the party he stopped to find on the 
letter-box in the entry the name " Mrs. Hallet," men- 
tioned by Olive. There was no such name. He tried 
the inner door. It opened. He cheerily began to mount 
steep stairs, which kept on for miles, climbing among 
slate-coloured walls, past empty wall-niches with toeless 
plaster statues. The passages, dim and high, and snobbish, 
and the dark old double doors, scowled at him. He 
boldly returned the scowl. He could hear the increasing 
din of a party coming from above. When he reached 
the top floor he found a door open on a big room crowded 
with shrilly chattering people in florid clothes. There 
was a hint of brassware and paintings and silken Turkish 
rugs. 

But no sight of Ruth or Olive. 

A maid was bobbing to him and breathing, " That 
way, please, at the end of the hall." He went meekly. 
He did not dare to search the clamorous crowd for the 
girls, as yet. 

He obediently added his hat and coat and stick to an 
uncomfortable-looking pile of wraps writhing on a bed 
in a small room that had a Copley print of Sargent's 

242 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Prophets/' a calendar, and an unimportant white rocker. 

It was time to go out and face the party, but he had 
stage-fright. While climbing the stairs he had believed 
that he was in touch with the two girls, but now he was 
separated from them by a crowd, farther from them than 
when he had followed them down the unfriendly street. 
And not till now did he quite grasp the fact that the 
hostess might not welcome him. His glowing game was 
becoming very dull-toned. He lighted a cigarette and 
listened to the beating surf of the talk in the other room. 

Another man came in. Like all the rest, he gave up 
the brilliant idea of trying to find an unpre-empted place 
for his precious newly -ironed silk hat, and resignedly 
dumped it on the bed. He was a passable man, with a 
gentlemanly moustache and good pumps. Carl knew 
that fact because he was comparing his own clothes and 
deciding that he had none the worst of it. But he was 
relieved when the waxed moustache moved a couple of 
times, and its owner said, in a friendly way : " Beastly 
jam ! . . . May I trouble you for a match ? " 

Carl followed him out to the hostess, a small, busy 
woman who made a business of being vivacious and letting 
the light catch the fringes of her gold hair as she nodded. 
Carl nonchalantly shook hands with her, bubbling : "So 
afraid couldn't get here. My play But at last " 

He was in a panic. But the hostess, instead of calling 
for the police, gushed, " So glad you could come ! " com- 
bining a kittenish mechanical smile for him with a glance 
over his shoulder at the temporary butler. " I want 
you to meet Miss Moeller, Mr. uh Mr " 

" I knew you'd forget it ! " Carl was brotherly and 
protecting in his manner. " Ericson, Oscar Ericson." 

" Oh, of course. How stupid of me ! Miss Moeller, 
want you to meet Mr. Oscar Ericson you know " 

" S' happy meet you, Miss Mmmmmmm," said Carl, 
tremendously well-bred in manner. " Can we possibly 
go over and' be clever in a corner, do you think ? " 

He had heard Colonel Haviland say that, but his manner 
gave it no quotation-marks. 

243 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Presumably he talked to Miss Moeller about some- 
thing usual the snow or the party or Owen Johnson's 
novels. Presumably Miss Moeller had eyes to look into 
and banalities to look away from. Presumably there 
was something in the room besides people and talk and 
rugs hung over the bookcases. But Carl never knew. 
He was looking for Ruth. He did not see her. 

Within ten minutes he had manoeuvred himself free 
of Miss Moeller and was searching for Ruth, his nerves 
quivering amazingly with the fear that she might already 
have gone. 

How would he ever find her ? He could scarce ask 
the hostess, " Say, where 's Ruth ? " 

She was nowhere in the fog of people in the big room. 
... If he could find even Olive. . . . 

Strolling, nodding to perfectly strange people who 
agreeably nodded back under the mistaken impression 
that they were glad to see him, he systematically checked 
up all the groups. Ruth was not among the punch-table 
devotees, who were being humorous and amorous over 
cigarettes ; not among the Caustic Wits exclusively 
assembled in a corner ; not among the shy sisters aligned 
on the davenport and wondering why they had come; 
not in the general maelstrom in the centre of the room. 

He stopped calmly to greet the hostess again, remark- 
ing, " You look so beautifully sophisticated to-night/' 
and listened suavely to her fluttering remarks. He was 
the picture of the cynical city man who has to be nowhere 
at no especial time. But he was not cynical. He had 
to find Ruth ! 

He escaped and, between the main room and the dining- 
room, penetrated a small den filled with witty young 
men, old stories, cigarette-smoke, and siphons. Then 
he charged into the dining-room, where there were candles 
and plate much like silver and Ruth and Olive at the 
farther end. 



244 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

HE wanted to run forward, take their hands, cry, 
" At last ! " He seemed to hear his voice wording 
it. But, not glancing at them again, he established 
himself on a chair by the doorway between the two rooms. 
It was safe to watch the two girls in this Babel, where 
words swarmed and battled everywhere in the air. Ruth 
was in a brown velvet frock whose golden tones har- 
monized with her brown hair. She was being enthusiastic- 
ally talked at by a man to whom she listened with a 
courteously amused curiosity. Carl could fancy her 
nudging Olive, who sat beside her on the Jacobean settee 
and was attended by another talking-man. Carl told 
Ruth (though she did not know that he was telling her) 
that she had no right to be " so blasted New-Yorkishly 
superior and condescending/' but he admitted that she was 
scarcely to blame, for the man made kindergarten gestures 
and emitted conversation like air from an exploded tire. 

The important thing was that he heard the man call 
her " Miss Winslow." 

" Great ! Got her name Ruth Winslow ! " 
Watching the man's lips (occasionally trying to find 
an excuse for eavesdropping, and giving up the quest 
because there was no excuse), he discovered that Ruth 
was being honoured with a thrilling account of aviation. 
The talking-man, it appeared, knew a great deal about 
the subject. Carl heard through a rift in the cloud of 
words that the man had once actually flown, as a passenger 
with Hank Odell I For five minutes on end, judging 
by the motions with which he steered a monoplane through 
perilous abysses, the reckless spirit kept flying (as a pas- 
senger). Ruth Winslow was obviously getting bored, 
and the man showed no signs of volplaning as yet. Olive's 
man departed, and Olive was also listening to the parlour 
aviator, who was unable to see that a terrific fight was 
being waged by the hands of the two girls in the space 
down between them. It was won by Ruth's hand, which 
got a death-grip on Olive's thumb, and held it, to Olive's 

245 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

agony, while both girls sat up straight and beamed 
propriety. 

Carl walked over and, smoothly ignoring the pocket 
entertainer, said : "So glad to see you, Miss Wmslow. 
I think this is my dance ? " 

" Y-yes ? " from Miss Wmslow, while the entertainer 
drifted off into the flotsam of the party. Olive went 
to join a group about the hostess, who had just come 
in to stir up mirth and jocund merriment in the dining- 
room, as it had settled down into a lower state of exhilara- 
tion than the canons of talk-parties require. 

Said Carl to Ruth, " Not that there's any dancing, 
but I felt you'd get dizzy if you climbed any higher in 
that aeroplane." 

Ruth tried to look haughty, but her dark lashes went 
up and her unexpected blue eyes grinned at him boyishly. 

" Gee ! she's clever ! " Carl was thinking. Since, to 
date, her only remark had been " Y-yes ? " he may have 
been premature. 

" That was a bully strangle -hold you got on Miss Olive's 
hand, Miss Winslow." 

" You saw our hands ? " 

" Perhaps. . . . Tell me a good way to express how 
superior you and I are to this fool party and its noise. 
Isn't it a fool party ? " 

"I'm afraid it really is." 

" What's the purpose of it, anyway ? Do the people have 
to come here and breathe this air, I wonder ? I asked 
several people that, and I'm afraid they think I'm crazy." 

" But you are here ? Do you come to Mrs. Salisbury's 
often ? " 

" Never been before. Never seen a person here in 
my life before except you and Miss Olive. Came on 
a bet. Chap bet I wouldn't dare come without being 
invited. I came. Bowed to the hostess and told her 
I was so sorry my play-rehearsals made me late, and 
she was so glad I could come, after all you know. She's 
never seen me in her life." 

" Oh ? Are you a dramatist ? " 
246 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I was in the other room. But I was a doctor out 
in the hall and a sculptor on the stairs, so I'm getting 
sort of confused myself as confused as you are, trying 
to remember who I am, Miss Winslow. You really don't 
remember me at all ? Tea at wasn't it at the Van- 
derbilt ? or the Plaza ? " 

" Oh yes, that must have been I was trying 

to remember " 

Carl grinned. " The chap who introduced me to you 
called me ' Mr. Um-m-m,' because he didn't remem- 
ber my name, either. So you've never heard it. It 
happens to be Ericson. . . . I'm on a mission. Serious 
one. I'm planning to go out and buy a medium-sized bomb 
and blow up this bunch. I suspect there's poets around." 

" I do too," sighed Ruth. " I understand that Mrs. 
Salisbury always has seven lawyers and nineteen adver- 
tising men and a dentist and a poet and an explorer at 
her affairs. Are you the poet or the explorer ? " 

" I'm the dentist. I think You don't happen 

to have done any authoring, do you ? " 

" Well, nothing except an epic poyem on Jonah and 
the Whale, which I wrote at the age of seven. Most of 
it consisted of a conversation between them, while Jonah 
was in the Whale's stomach, which I think showed agility 
on the part of the Whale." 

" Then maybe it's safe to say what I think of authors 
and more or less of poets and painters and so on. One 
time I was in charge of some mechanical investigations, 
and a lot of writers used to come around looking for what 
they called ' copy/ That's where I first got my grouch 
on them, and I've never really got over it ; and coming 
here to-night and hearing the literary talk I've been 
thinking how these authors have a sort of an admiration 
trust. They make authors the heroes of their stories 
and so on, and so they make people think that writing 
is sacred. I'm so sick of reading novels about how young 
Bill, as had a pure white soul, came to New York and 
had an 'orrible time till his great novel was accepted. 
Authors seem to think they're the only ones that have 

247 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

ideals. Now I'm in the automobile business, and I help 
to make people get out into the country bet a lot more 
of them get out because of motoring than because of 
reading poetry about spring. But if I claimed a tempera- 
ment because I introduce the motorist's soul to the daisy, 
every one would die laughing." 

" But don't you think that art is the oh, the object 
of civilization and that sort of thing ? " 

" I do noil Honestly, Miss Winslow, I think it would 
be a good stunt to get along without any art at all for 
a generation, and see what we miss. We probably need 
dance music, but I doubt if we need opera. Funny how 
the world always praises its opera-singers so much and 
pays 'em so well and then starves its shoemakers, and 
yet it needs good shoes so much more than it needs opera 
or war or fiction. I'd like to see all the shoemakers 
get together and refuse to make any more shoes till people 
promised to write reviews about them, like all these book- 
reviews. Then just as soon as people's shoes began to 
wear out they'd come right around, and you'd read about 
the new masterpieces of Mr. Regal and Mr. Walkover 
and Mr. Stetson." 

" Yes ! I can imagine it. ' This laced boot is one of 
the most vital and gripping and wholesome shoes of the 
season.' And probably all the young shoemakers would 
sit around cafe's, looking quizzical and artistic. But 
don't you think your theory is dangerous, Mr. Ericson ? 
You give me an excuse for being content with being a com- 
monplace Upper-West-Sider. And aren't authors better 
than commonplaceness ? You're so serious that I almost 
suspect you of having started to be an author yourself. 

" Really not. As a matter of fact, I'm the kiddy 
in patched overalls you used to play with when you kept 
house in the willows/' 

" Oh, of course ! In the Forest of Arden ! And you 
had a toad that you traded for my hair-ribbon." 

" And we ate bread and milk out of blue bowls ! " 

" Oh yes ! " she agreed, " blue bowls with bunny- 
rabbits painted on them." 

248 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" And giants and a six-cylinder castle, with warders 
and a donjon keep. And Jack the Giant-killer. But 
certainly bunnies." 

"Do you really like bunnies ?" Her voice caressed the word. 

" I like them so much that when I think of them I 
know that there's one thing worse than having a cut- 
rate literary salon, and that's to be too respectable " 

" Too Upper- West-Side ! " 

" to dare to eat bread and milk out of blue bowls." 

" Yes, I think I shall have to admit you to the Blue 

Bowl League, Mr. Ericson. Speaking of which 

Tell me, who did introduce us, you and me ? I feel so 
apologetic for not remembering." 

" Mayn't I be a mystery, Miss Winslow ? At least 
as long as I have this new shirt, which you observed 
with some approval while I was drooling on about authors ? 
It makes me look like a count, you must admit. Or 
maybe like a Knight of the Order of the Bunny Rabbit. 
Please let me be a mystery still." 

" Yes, you may. Life has no mysteries left except 
Olive's coiffure and your beautiful shirt. . . . Does one 
talk about shirts at a second meeting ? " 

" Apparently one does." 

" Yes. . . . To-night, I must have a mystery. . . . 
Do you swear, as a man of honour, that you are at this 
party dishonourably, uninvited ? " 

" I do, princess." 

" Well, so am I ! Olive was invited to come, with 
a man, but he was called away and she dragged me here, 
promising me I should see " 

" Anarchists ? " 

" Yes ! And the only nice lovable crank I've found 
except you, with your vulgar prejudice against the 
whole race of authors is a dark-eyed female who sits 
on a couch out in the big room, like a Mrs. St. Simeon 
Stylites in a tight skirt, and drags you in by her glitter- 
ing eye, looking as though she was going to speak about 
theosophy, and then asks you if you think a highball 
would help her cold." 

249 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I think I know the one you mean. When I saw her 
she was talking to a man whose beating whiskers dashed 
high on a stern and rock-bound face. . . - Thank you, 
I like that fairly well, too, but unfortunately I stole it from 
a chap named Haviland. My own idea of witty conversa- 
tion is : ' Some car you got. What's your magneto ' ? " 

" Look. Olive Dunleavy seems distressed. The num- 
ber of questions I shall have to answer about you ! . . . 
Well, Olive and I felt very low in our minds to-day. We 
decided that we were tired of select associations, and 
that we would seek the Primitive, and maybe even Life 
in the Raw. Olive knows a woman mountain-climber 
who always says she longs to go back to the wilds, so 
we went down to her flat. We expected to have raw- 
meat sandwiches, at the very least, but the Savage Woman 
gave us Suchong and devilled-chicken sandwiches and 
pink cakes and Nabiscos, and told us how well her son 
was doing in his Old French course at Columbia. So 
we got lower and lower in our minds, and we decided 
we had to go down to Chinatown for dinner. We went, 

too ! I've done a little settlement work Dear 

me, I'm telling you too much about myself, O Man of 
Mystery ! It isn't quite done, I'm afraid/' 

" Please, Miss Winslow ! In the name of the what 
was it Order of the Blue Bowl ? " He was making 
a mental note that Olive's last name was Dunleavy. 

" Well, I've done some settlement work Did 

you ever do any, by any chance ? " 

" I once converted a Chinaman to Lutheranism ; I 
think that was my nearest approach," said Carl. 

" My work was the kind where you go in and look 
at three dirty children and teach them that they'll be 
happy if they're good, when you know perfectly well 
that their only chance to be happy is to be bad as any- 
thing and sneak off to go swimming in the East River. 
But it kept me from being very much afraid of the Bowery, 
but Olive was scared beautifully. There was the dearest, 
most inoffensive old man in the most perfect state of 
intoxication sitting next to us in the car, and when Olive 

250 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

moved away from him he winked over at me and said, 
' Honour your shruples, ma'am, ver' good form/ I 
think Olive thought he was going to murder us she 
was sure he was the wild, dying remnant of a noble race 
or something. But even she was disappointed in China- 
town. 

" We had expected opium-fiends, like the melodramas 
they used to have on Fourteenth Street, before the movies 
came. But we had a disgustingly clean table, with a 
mad, reckless picture worked in silk, showing two doves 
and a boiled lotus flower, hanging near us, to intimidate 
us. The waiter was a Harvard graduate, I know 
perhaps Oxford and he said, ' May I sugges' ladies 
velly nize China dinner ? ' He suggested chow-main 
we thought it would be either birds' nests or rats' tails, 
and it was simply crisp noodles with the most innocuous 
sauce. . . . And the people ! They were all stupid 
tourists like ourselves, except for a Jap, with his cunnin' 
Sunday tie, and his little trousers all so politely pressed, 
and his clean pocket-hanky. And he was reading The 
Presbyterian ! . . . Then we came up here, and it doesn't 
seem so very primitive here, either. It's most aggravat- 
ing. ... It seems to me I've been telling you an incredible 
lot about our silly adventures you're probably the man 
who won the Indianapolis motor-race or discovered elec- 
tricity or something." 

Through her narrative, her eyes had held his, but now 
she glanced about, noted Olive, and seemed uneasy. 

" I'm afraid I'm nothing so interesting," he said ; 
" but I have wanted to see new places and new things 
and I've more or less seen 'em. When I've got tired 
of one town, I'm simply up and beat it, and when I got 
there wherever there was I've looked for a job. 
And Well, I haven't lost anything by it." 

" Have you really ? That's the most wonderful thing 
to do in the world. My travels have been Cook's tours, 
with our own little Thomas Cook and Son right in the 
family I've never even had the mad freedom of choosing 
between a tour of the Irish bogs and an educational pil- 

251 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

grimage to the shrines of celebrated brewers. My people 

have always chosen for me. But I've wanted One 

doesn't merely go without having an objective, or an 
excuse for going, I suppose." 

" I do," declared Carl. " But May I be honest ? " 

" Yes." 

Intimacy was about them. They were two travellers 
from a far land, come together in the midst of strangers. 

" I speak of myself as globe-trotting," said Carl. " I 
have been. But for a good many weeks I've been here 
in New York, knowing scarcely anyone, and restless, 
yet I haven't felt like hiking off, because I was sick for 
a time, and because a chap that was going to Brazil with 
me died suddenly." 

" To Brazil ? Exploring ? " 

" Yes just a stab at it, pure amateur. ... I'm not 
at all sure I'm just making-believe when I speak of blue 
bowls and so on. Tell me. In the West, one would 
speak of ' seeing the girls home.' How would one say 
that gracefully in New-Yorkese, so that I might have 
the chance to beguile Miss Olive Dunleavy and Miss Ruth 
Winslow into letting me see them home ? " 

" Really, we're not a bit afraid to go home alone." 

" I won't tease, but May I come to your house 

for tea, some time ? " 

She hesitated. It came out with a rush. " Yes. 
Do come up. N-next Sunday, if you'd like." 

She bobbed her head to Olive and rose. 

" And the address ? " he insisted. 

" West Ninety-second Street. . . . Good night. 

I have enjoyed the blue bowl." 

Carl made his decent devoirs to his hostess and tramped 
up-town through the flying snow, swinging his stick 
like an orchestra conductor, and whistling a waltz. 

As he reached home he thought again of his sordid 
parting with Gertie in the Park years ago, that after- 
noon. But the thought had to wait in the anteroom 
of his mind while he rejoiced over the fact that he was 
to see his new playmate the coming Sunday. 

252 



CHAPTER XXIX 

CKE a country small boy waiting for the coming 
f his city cousin, who will surely have new ways 
of playing Indians, Carl prepared to see Ruth Winslow 
and her background. What was she ? Who ? Where ? 
He pictured her as dwelling in everything from a mil- 
lionaire's imitation chateau, with footmen and automatic 
elevators, to a bachelor girl's flat in an old-fashioned 
red-brick Harlem tenement. But more than that : 
What would she herself be like against that background ? 

Monday he could think of nothing but the joy of hav- 
ing discovered a playmate. The secret popped out from 
behind everything he did. Tuesday he was worried 
by finding himself unable to remember whether Ruth's 
hair was black or dark brown. Yet he could visualize 
Olive's ash-blond. Why ? Wednesday afternoon, when 
he was sleepy in the office after eating too much beef- 
steak and kidney pie, drinking too much coffee, and 
smoking too many cigarettes, at lunch with Mr. Van- 
Zile, when he was tortured by the desire to lay his head 
on his arms and yield to drowsiness, he was suddenly 
invaded by a fear that Ruth was snobbish. It seemed 
to him that he ought to do something about it immedi- 
ately. 

The rest of the week he merely waited to see what 
sort of person the totally unknown Miss Ruth Winslow 
might be. His most active occupation outside the office 
was feeling guilty over not telephoning to Gertie. 

At 3.30 p.m., Sunday, he was already encased in funereal 
morning-clothes and warning himself that he must not 
arrive at Miss Winslow's before five. His clothes were 
new, stiff as though they belonged to a wax dummy. 
Their lines were straight and without individuality. He 
hitched his shoulders about and kept going to the mirror 
to inspect the fit of the collar. He repeatedly rebrushed 
his hair, regarding the unclean state of his military brushes 
with disgust. About six times he went to the window 
to see if it had started to snow. 

253 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

At ten minutes to four he sternly jerked on his coat 
and walked far north of Ninety-second Street, then back. 

He arrived at a quarter to five, but persuaded him- 
self that this was a smarter hour of arrival than five. 

Ruth Winslow's home proved to be a rather ordinary 
three-story-and-basement greystone dwelling, with heavy 
Russian net curtains at the broad, clear-glassed windows 
of the first floor, and an attempt to escape from the stern 
drabness of the older type of New York houses by intro- 
ducing a porch and steps with a carved stone balustrade, 
at the top of which perched a meek old lion of 1890, with 
battered ears and a truly sensitive stone nose. A typical 
house of the very well-to-do yet not wealthy " upper 
middle class " ; a house predicating one motor-car, three 
not expensive maids, brief European tours, and the best 
preparatory schools and colleges for the sons. 

A maid answered the door and took his card a maid 
in a frilly apron and black uniform neither a butler 
nor a slatternly Biddy. In the hall, as the maid dis- 
appeared upstairs, Carl had an impression of furnace 
heat and respectability. Rather shy, uncomfortable, 
anxious to be acceptable, warning himself that as a famous 
aviator he need not be in awe of anyone, but finding that 
the warning did not completely take, he drew off his 
coat and gloves and, after a swift inspection of his tie, 
gazed about with more curiosity than he had ever given 
to any other house. 

For all the stone lion in front, this was quite the old- 
line English-basement house, with the inevitable front 
and back parlours though here they were modified into 
drawing-room and dining-room. The walls of the hall 
were decked with elaborate, meaningless scrolls in plaster 
bas-relief, echoed by raised circles on the ceiling just 
above the hanging chandelier, which was expensive and 
hideous, a clutter of brass and knobby red-and-blue glass. 
The floor was of hardwood in squares, dark and richly 
polished, highly self-respecting a floor that assumed 
civic responsibility from a republican point of view, and 
a sound conservative business established since 1875 

254 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

or 1880. By the door was a huge Japanese vase, con- 
venient either for depositing umbrellas or falling over 
in the dark. Then, a long mirror in a dull-red mahogany 
frame, and a table of mahogany so refined that no one 
would ever dream of using it for anything more useful 
than visiting-cards. It might have been the table by 
the king's bed, on which he leaves his crown on a little 
purple cushion at night. Solid and ostentatious. 

The drawing-room, to the left, was dark and still and 
unsympathetic and expensive ; a vista of brocade-covered 
French-gilt chairs and a marquetry table and a table 
of onyx top, on which was one book bound in calf, and 
one vase ; cream-coloured heavy carpet and a crystal 
chandelier ; fairly meretricious paintings of rocks, and 
thatched cottages, and ragged newsboys with faces like 
Daniel Webster, all of them in large gilt frames protected 
by shadow-boxes. In a corner was a cabinet of gilt and 
glass, filled with Dresden-china figurines and toy tables 
and a carven Swiss musical powder-box. The fireplace 
was of smooth, chilly white marble, with an ormolu clock 
on the mantelpiece, and a fire-screen painted with Wat- 
teau shepherds and shepherdesses, making silken unreal 
love and scandalously neglecting silky unreal sheep. 
By the hearth were shiny fire-irons which looked as though 
they had never been used. The whole room looked as 
though it had never been used except during the formal 
calls of overdressed matrons with card-cases and preju- 
dices. The one human piece of furniture in the room, 
a couch soft and slightly worn, on which lovers might 
have sat and small boys bounced, was trying to appear 
useless, too, under its row of stiff satin cushions with 
gold cords. . . . Well-dusted chairs on which no one 
wished to sit ; expensive fireplace that never shone ; 
prized pictures with less imagination than the engrav- 
ings on a bond that drawing-room had the soul of a 
banker with side-whiskers. 

Carl by no means catalogued all the details, but he 
did get the effect of ingrowing propriety. It is not cer- 
tain that he thought the room in bad taste. It is not 

255 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

certain that he had any artistic taste whatever ; or that 
his attack upon the pretensions of authors had been 
based on anything more fundamental than a personal 
irritation due to having met blatant camp-followers of 
the arts. And it is certain that one of his reactions as 
he surveyed the abject respectability of that room was 
a slight awe of the solidity of social position which it 
represented, and which he consciously lacked. But, 
whether from artistic instinct or from ignorance, he was 
sure that into the room ought to blow a sudden great 
wind, with the scent of forest and snow. He shook his 
head when the maid returned, and he followed her upstairs. 
Surely a girl reared here would never run away and play 
with him. 

He heard lively voices from the library above. He 
entered a room to be lived in and be happy in, with a 
jolly fire on the hearth and friendly people on a big, brown 
davenport. Ruth Winslow smiled at him from behind 
the Colonial silver and thin cups on the tea-table, and as 
he saw her light-filled eyes, saw her cock her head gaily 
in welcome, he was again convinced that he had found 
a playmate. 

A sensation of being pleasantly accepted warmed him 

as she cried, " So glad " and introduced him, gave 

him tea and a cake with nuts in it. From a wing-chair 
Carl searched the room and the people. There were 
two paintings a pale night sea and an arching Japanese 
bridge under slanting rain, both imaginative and well 
done. There was a mahogany escritoire, which might 
have been stiff but was made human by scattered papers 
on the great blotter and books crammed into the shelves. 
Other books were heaped on a table as though people had 
been reading them. Later he found how amazingly 
they were assorted the latest novel of Robert Chambers 
beside H. G. Wells's First and Last Things ; a dusty 
expensive book on Italian sculpture near a cheap reprint 
of Dodo. 

The chairs were capacious, the piano a workmanlike 
upright, not dominating the room, but ready for music ; 

256 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and in front of the fire was an English setter, an aristo- 
crat of a dog, with the light glittering in his slowly wav- 
ing tail. The people fitted into the easy life of the room. 
They were New-Yorkers and, unlike over half of the 
population, born there, considering New York a village 
where one knows everybody and remembers when Four- 
teenth Street was the shopping-centre. Olive Dunleavy 
was shinily present, her ash-blond hair in a new coiffure. 
She was arguing with a man of tight morning-clothes 
and a high-bred face about the merits of " Parsifal/' 
which, Olive declared, no one ever attended except as 
a matter of conscience. 

" Now, Georgie," she said, " issa Georgie, you shall 
have your opera and you shall jolly well have it alone, 
too ! " Olive was vivid about it all, but Carl saw that she 
was watching him, and he was shy as he wondered what 
Ruth had told her. 

Olive's brother, Philip Dunleavy, a clear-faced, slender, 
well-bathed boy of twenty-six, with too high a forehead, 
with discontent in his face and in his thin voice, care- 
lessly well-dressed in a soft-grey suit and an impression- 
istic tie, was also inspecting Carl, while talking to a pretty, 
commonplace, finishing-school-finished girl. Carl instantly 
disliked Philip Dunleavy, and was afraid of his latent 
sarcasm. 

Indeed, Carl felt more and more that beneath the 
friendliness with which he was greeted there was no real 
welcome as yet, save possibly on the part of Ruth. He 
was taken on trial. He was a Mr. Ericson, not any Mr. 
Ericson in particular. 

Ruth, while she poured tea, was laughing with a man 
and a girl. Carl himself was part of a hash-group 
an older woman who seemed to know Rome and Paris 
better than New York, and might be anything from a 
milliner to a mondaine ; a keen-looking youngster with 
tortoise-shell spectacles ; finally, Ruth's elder brother, 
Mason J. Winslow, Jr., a tall, thin, solemn, intensely 
well-intentioned man of thirty-seven, with a long, clean- 
shaven face, and a long, narrow head whose growing 

257 R 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

baldness was always spoken of as a result of his hard 
work. Mason J. Winslow, Jr., spoke hesitatingly, worried 
over everything, and stood for morality and good business. 
He was rather dull in conversation, rather kind in manner, 
and accomplished solid things by unimaginatively stick- 
ing at them. He didn't understand people who did not 
belong to a good club. 

Carl contributed a few careful platitudes to a frivolous 
discussion of whether it would not be advisable to solve 
the woman-suffrage question by taking the vote away 
from men and women both and conferring it on children. 
Mason Winslow ambled to the big table for a cigarette, 
and Carl pursued him. While they stood talking about 
" the times are bad," Carl was spying upon Ruth, and 
the minute her current group wandered off to the daven- 
port he made a dash at the tea-table and got there before 
Olive's brother, Philip Dunleavy, who was obviously 
manoeuvring like himself. Philip gave him a covert 
f< Who are you, fellow ? " glance, took a cake, and 
retired. 

From his wicker chair facing Ruth's, Carl said, gloomily, 
" It isn't done." 

" Yes," said Ruth, " I know it, but still some very 
smart people are doing it this season." 

" But do you think the woman that writes ' What 
the man will wear ' in the theatre programmes would 
stand for it ? " 

" Not," gravely considered Ruth, " if there were black 
stitching on the dress-glove. Yet there is some authority 
for frilled shirts." 

" You think it might be considered then ? " 

" I will not come between you and your haberdasher, 
Mr. Ericson." 

" This is a foolish conversation. But since you think 
the better classes do it gee ! it's getting hard for me 
to keep up this kind of ' Dolly Dialogue/ What I wanted 
to do was to request you to give me concisely but fully 
a sketch of ' Who is Miss Ruth Winslow ? ' and save me 
from making any pet particular breaks. And hereafter, 

258 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

I warn you, I'm going to talk like my cousin, the carpet- 
slipper model." 

" Name, Ruth Winslow. Age, between twenty and 
thirty. Father, Mason Winslow, manufacturing con- 
tractor for concrete. Brothers, Mason Winslow, Jr., 
whose poor dear head is getting somewhat bald, as you 
observe, and Bobby Winslow, ne'er-do-well, who is 
engaged in subverting discipline at medical school, and 
who dances divinely. My mother died three years ago. 
I do nothing useful, but I play a good game of bridge 
and possess a voice that those as know pronounce passable. 
I have a speaking knowledge of French, a reading knowl- 
edge of German, and a singing knowledge of Italian. I 
am wearing an imported gown, for which the House of 
Winslow will probably never pay. I live in this house, 
and am Episcopalian not so much High Church as 
highly infrequent church. I regard the drawing-room 
downstairs as the worst example of late-Victorian abomin- 
ations in my knowledge, but I shall probably never 
persuade father to change it because Mason thinks it is 
sacred to the past. My ambition in life is to be catty 
to the Newport set after I've married an English diplomat 
with a divine moustache. Never having met such a 
personage outside of Taller and Vogue, I can't give you 
very many details regarding him. Oh yes, of course, 
he'll have to play a marvellous game of polo and have 
a chateau in Provence and also a ranch in Texas, where 
I shall wear riding-breeches and live next to Nature and 
have a Chinese cook in blue silk. I think that's my whole 
history. Oh, I forgot. I play at the piano and am 
very ignorant, and completely immersed in the worst 
traditions of the wealthy Micks of the Upper West Side, 
and I always pretend that I live here instead of on the 
Upper East Side because ' the air is better '." 

"What is this Upper West Side? Is it a state of 
mind ? " 

" Indeed it is not. It's a state of pocketbook. The 
Upper West Side is composed entirely of people born 
in New York who want to be in society, whatever that 

259 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

is, and can't afford to live on Fifth Avenue. You know 
everybody and went to school with everybody and played 
in the Park with everybody, and mostly your papa is 
in wholesale trade and haughty about people in retail. 
You go to Europe one summer and to the Jersey coast 
the next. All your clothes and parties and weddings 
and funerals might be described as ' elegant/ That's 
the Upper West Side. Now the dread truth about you. 
... Do you know, after the unscrupulous way in which 
you followed up a mere chance introduction at a tea 
somewhere, I suspect you to be a well-behaved young 
man who leads an entirely blameless life. Or else you'd 
never dare to jump the fence and come and play in my 
back yard when all the other boys politely knock at the 
front door and get sent home/' 

" Me well, I'm a wage-slave of the VanZile Motor 
people, in charge of the Touricar department. Age, 
twenty-eight almost. Habits, all bad. . . . No, I'll tell 
you. I'm one of those stern, silent men of granite you 
read about, and only my man knows the human side of 
me, because all the guys on Wall Street tremble in my 
presence." 

" Yes, but then how can you belong to the Blue Bowl 
Sodality ? " 

" Um, yes I've got it. You must have read 

novels in which the stern, silent man of granite has a 
secret tenderness in his heart, and he keeps the band of 
the first cigar he ever smoked in a little safe in the wall, 
and the first dollar he ever made in a frame that's me/' 

" Of course ! The cigar was given him by his flaxen- 
haired sweetheart back in Jenkins Corners, and in the 
last chapter he goes back and marries her." 

" Not always, I hope ! " Of what Carl was thinking 
is not recorded. " Well, as a matter of fact, I've been 
a fairly industrious young man of granite the last few 
months, getting out the Touricar." 

" What is a Touricar ? It sounds like an island inhabited 
by cannibals, exports hemp and cocoa-nut, see pink dot on 
the map, nor* by nor'east of Mogador." 

260 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Carl explained. 

" I'm terribly interested/' said Ruth. (But she made 
it sound as though she really was.) " I think it's so won- 
derful. ... I want to go off tramping through the Berk- 
shires. I'm so tired of going to the same old places/' 

" Some time, when you're quite sure I'm an estimable 
young Y.M.C.A. man, I'm going to try to persuade you 
to come out for a real tramp." 

She seemed to be considering the idea, not seriously, 
but 

Philip Dunleavy eventuated. 

For some time Philip had been showing signs of inter- 
est in Ruth and Carl. Now he sauntered to the table, 
begged for another cup of tea, said agreeable things in 
regard to putting orange marmalade in tea, and calmly 
established himself. Ruth turned toward him. 

Carl had fancied that there was, for himself, in Ruth's 
voice, something more friendly, in her infectious smile 
something more intimate than she had given the others, 
but when she turned precisely the same cheery expres- 
sion upon Philip, Carl seemed to have lost something 
which he had trustingly treasured for years. He was the 
more forlorn as Olive Dunleavy joined them, and Ruth, 
Philip, and Olive discussed the engagement of one Mary 
Meldon. Olive recalled Miss Meldon as she had been 
in school days at the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Philip 
told of her flirtations at the old Long Beach Hotel. 

The names of New York people whom they had always 
known ; the names of country clubs Baltusrol and 
Meadow Brook and Peace Waters ; the names of streets, 
with a sharp differentiation between Seventy-fourth 
Street and Seventy-fifth Street ; Durland's Riding 
Academy, the Rink of a Monday morning, and other 
souvenirs of a New York childhood ; the score of the 
last American polo team and the coming dances these 
things shut Carl out as definitely as though he were a 
foreigner. He was lonely. He disliked Phil Dunleavy's 
sarcastic references. He wanted to run away. 

Ruth seemed to realize that Carl was shut out. Said 

261 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

she to Phil Dunleavy : "I wish you could have seen 
Mr. Ericson save my life last Sunday. I had an experi- 
ence. " 

" What was that ? " asked the man whom Olive called 
" Georgie," joining the tea-table set. 

The whole room listened as Ruth recounted the trip 
to Chinatown, Mrs. Salisbury's party, and the hero who 
had once been a passenger in an aeroplane. 

Throughout she kept turning toward Carl. It seemed 
to reunite him to the company. As she closed, he said : 

" The thing that amused me about the parlour aviator 
was his laying down the law that the Atlantic will be 
crossed before the end of 1913, and his assumption that 
we'll all have aeroplanes in five years. I know from 
my own business, the automobile business, about how 
much such prophecies are worth." 

" Don't you think the Atlantic will be crossed soon ? " 
asked the keen-looking man with the tortoise-shell spec- 
tacles. 

Phil Dunleavy broke in with an air of amused sophisti- 
cation : "I think the parlour aviator was right. Really, 
you know, aviation is too difficult a subject for the lay- 
man to make any predictions about either what it can 
or can't do." 

" Oh yes," admitted Carl ; and the whole room 
breathed. " Oh yes." 

Dunleavy went on in his thin, overbred, insolent voice, 
" Now I have it on good authority, from a man who's 
a member of the Aero Club, that next year will be the 
greatest year aviation has ever known, and that the 
Wrights have an aeroplane up their sleeve with which 
they'll cross the Atlantic without a stop, during the spring 
of 1914 at the very latest." 

" That's unfortunate, because the aviation game has 
gone up completely in this country, except for hydro- 
aeroplaning and military aviation, and possibly it never 
will come back," said Carl, a hint of pique in his voice. 

" What is your authority for that ? " Phil turned a 
large, bizarre ring round on his slender left little finger 

262 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and the whole room waited, testing this positive-spoken 
outsider. 

" Well/' drawled Carl, " I have fairly good authority. 
Walter MacMonnies, for instance, and he is probably 
the best flier in the country to-day, except for Lincoln 
Beachey." 

" Oh yes, he's a good flier/' said Phil, contemptuously, 
with a shadowy smile for Ruth. " Still, he's no better 
than Aaron Solomons, and he isn't half so great a flier 
as that chap with the same surname as your own, Hawk 
Ericson, whom I myself saw coming up the Jersey coast 
when he won that big race to New York. . . . You see, 
I've been following this aviation pretty closely." 

Carl saw Ruth's head drop an inch, and her eyes close 
to a slit as she inspected him with sudden surprise. He 
knew that it had just occurred to her who he was. Their 
eyes exchanged understanding. " She does get things," 
he thought, and said, lightly : 

" Well, I honestly hate to take the money, Mr. Dun- 
lea vy, but I'm in a position to know that MacMonnies 
is a better flier to-day than Ericson is, be " 

" But see here " 

" because I happen to be Hawk Ericson." 

" What a chump I am ! " groaned the man in tortoise- 
shell spectacles. " Of course ! I remember your picture, 
now." 

Phil was open-mouthed. Ruth laughed. The rest 
of the room gasped. Mason Winslow, long and bald, 
was worrying over the question of How to Receive Aviators 
at Tea. 

And Carl was shy as a small boy caught stealing the 
jam. 



263 



CHAPTER XXX 

AT home, early that evening, Carl's doctor-landlord 
gave him the message that a Miss Gertrude Cowles 
had rung him up, but had declined to leave a 
number. The landlord's look indicated that it was no 
fault of his if Carl had friends who were such fools that 
they didn't leave their numbers. Carl got even with 
him by going out to the corner drug-store to telephone 
Gertie, instead of giving him a chance to listen. 

" Hello ? " said Gertie over the telephone. " Oh, 
hello, Carl ; I just called up to tell you Adelaide is going 
to be here this evening, and I thought perhaps you might 
like to come up if you haven't anything better to do." 

Carl did have something better to do. He might have 
used the whole evening in being psychological about 
Ruth and Phil Dunleavy and English-basement houses 
with cream-coloured drawing-rooms. But he went up 
to Gertie's. 

They were all there Gertie and Adelaide, Ray and 
his mother, and Miss Greene, an unidentified girl from 
Minneapolis ; all playing parcheesi, explaining that they 
thought it not quite proper to play cards on Sunday, 
but that parcheesi was " different." Ray winked at 
Carl as they said it. 

The general atmosphere was easy and liveable. Carl 
found himself at home again. Adelaide told funny anec- 
dotes about her school of domestic science, and the chief 
teacher, who wore her hair in a walnut on top of her head 
and interrupted a lecture on dietetics to chase a cock- 
roach with a ruler. 

As the others began to disappear, Gertie said to Carl : 
" Don't go till I read you a letter from Ben Rusk I got 
yesterday. Lots of news from home. Joe Jordan is 
engaged ! " 

They were left alone. Gertie glanced at him inti- 
mately. He stiffened. He knew that Gertie was honest, 
kindly, with enough sense of display to catch the tricks 
of a new environment. But to her, matrimony would 

264 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

be the inevitable sequence of a friendship which Ruth 
or Olive could take easily, pleasantly, for its own sake. 
And Carl, the young man just starting in business, was 
unheroically afraid of matrimony. 

Yet his stiffness of attitude disappeared when Gertie 
had read the letter from Joralemon and mused, chin 
on hand, dreamily melancholy : " I can just see them 
out sleighing. Sometimes I wish I was out there. Hon- 
est, Carl, for all the sea and the hills here, don't you wish 
sometimes it were August, and you were out home camp- 
ing on a wooded bluff over a lake ? " 

" Yes ! " he cried. " I've been away so long now that 
I don't ever feel home-sick for any particular part of the 
country ; but just the same I would like to see the lakes. 
And I do miss the prairies sometimes. Oh, I was reading 
something the other day fellow was trying to define 
the different sort of terrain here it is, cut it out of the 
paper." He produced from among a bunch of pocket- 
worn envelopes and memorandums a clipping hacked 
from a newspaper with a nail-file, and read : 

" ' The combat and mystery of the sea ; the uplift 
of the hills and their promise of wonder beyond ; the 
kindliness of late afternoon nestling in small fields, or 
on ample barns where red clover-tops and long grasses 
shine against the grey foundation stones and small boys 
seek for hidden entrances to this castle of the farm ; the 
deep holiness of the forest, whose leaves are the stained 
glass of a cathedral to grave saints of the open ; all these 
I love, but nowhere do I find content save on the mid- 
western prairie, where the light of sky and plain drugs 
the senses, where the sound of meadow-larks at dawn 
fulfils my desire for companionship, and the easy creak 
of the buggy, as we top rise after rise, bespells me into 
an afternoon slumber which the nervous town shall never 
know.' 

" I cut the thing out because I was thinking that the 
prairies, stretching out the way they do, make me want 
to go on and on, in an aeroplane or any old thing. Lord, 
Lord ! I guess before long I'll have to be beating it 

265 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

again like the guy in Kipling that always got sick of 
reading the same page too long." 

" Oh, but, Carl, you don't mean to say you're going 
to give up your business, when you're doing so well ? 
And aviation shows what you can do if you stick to a 
thing, Carl, and not just wander around like you used 
to do. We do want to see you succeed." 

His reply was rather weak : " Well, gee ! I guess 
I'll succeed, all right, but I don't see much use of suc- 
ceeding if you have to be stuck down in a greasy city 
street all your life." 

" That's very true, Carl, but do you appreciate the 
city ? Have you ever been in the Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, or gone to a single symphony concert at Carnegie 
Hall ? " 

Carl was convinced that Gertie was a highly superior 
person ; that she was getting far more of the good of 
New York than he. ... He would take her to a concert 
and ask her to explain the significance of the music. 

It was never to occur sharply to him that, though 
Gertie referred frequently to concerts and pictures, she 
showed no vast amount of knowledge about them. She 
was a fixed fact in his mind ; had been for twenty years. 
He could have a surface quarrel with her because he knew 
the fundamental things in her, and with these, he was 
sure, no one could quarrel. His thoughts of Ruth and 
Olive were delightful surprises ; his impression of Gertie 
was stable as the Rockies. 

Carl wasn't sure whether Upper West Side young 
ladies could be persuaded to attend a theatre party upon 
short acquaintance, but he tried, and arranged a party 
of Ruth and Olive and himself, Walter MacMonnies (in 
town on his way from Africa to San Diego), Charley 
Forbes of the Chronicle and, for chaperon, the cosmopoli- 
tan woman whom he had met at Ruth's, and who proved 
to be a Mrs. Tirrell, a dismayingly smart dressmaker. 

When he called for Ruth he expected such a gay girl 
as had poured tea. He was awed to find her a grande 

266 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

dame in black velvet, more dignified, apparently inches 
taller, and in a vice-regally bad temper. As they drove 
off she declared : 

" Sorry I'm in such a villainous temper. I hadn't 
a single pair of decent white gloves, and I tore some old 
black Spanish lace on the gown I was going to wear, 
and my entire family, whom God unquestionably sent 
to be a trial to test me, clustered about my door while 
I was dressing and bawled in queries about laundry and 
other horribly vulgar things." 

Carl did not see much of the play. He was watching 
Ruth's eyes, listening to her whispered comments. She 
declared that she was awed by the presence of two avia- 
tors and a newspaper man. Actually, she was work- 
ing, working at bringing out MacMonnies, a shy, broad- 
shouldered, inarticulate youth who supposed that he 
never had to talk. 

Carl had planned to go to the Ritz for supper, but 
Ruth and Olive persuaded him to take them to the caf6 
of the Rector's of that time ; for, they said, they had 
never been in a Broadway cafe, and they wanted to see 
the famous actors with their make-ups off. 

At the table Carl carried Ruth off in talk, like a young 
Lochinvar out of the Middle West. Around them was 
the storm of highballs and brandy and club soda, theatri- 
cal talk, and a confused mass of cigar-smoke, shirt-fronts, 
white shoulders, and drab waiters ; yet here was a quiet 
refuge for the eternal force of life. . . . 

Carl was asking : " Would you rather be a perfect 
lady and have blue bowls with bunnies on them for your 
very worst dissipation, or be like your mountain-climb- 
ing woman and have anarchists for friends one day and 
be off hiking through the clouds the next ? " 

" Oh, I don't know. I know I'm terribly susceptible 
to the ' nice things of life,' but I do get tired of being 
nice. Especially when I have a bad temper, as I had 
to-night. I'm not at all imprisoned in a harem, and 
as for social aspirations, I'm a nobody. But still I have 
been brought up to look at things that aren't ' like the 

267 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

home life of our dear Queen ' as impossible, and I'm 
quite sure that father believes that poor people are poor 
because they are silly and don't try to be rich. But 
I've been reading ; and I've made to you it may seem 
silly to call it a discovery, but to me it's the greatest 
discovery I've ever made : that people are just people, 
all of them that the little mousey clerk may be a hero, 
and the hero may be a nobody that the motorman that 
lets his beastly car spatter mud on my nice new velvet 
skirt may be exactly the same sort of person as the swain 
who commiserates with me in his cunnin' Harvard accent. 
Do you think that ? " 

" I know it. Most of my life I've been working with 
men with dirty finger-nails, and the only difference between 
them and the men with clean nails is a nail-cleaner, and 
that costs just ten cents at the corner drug-store. Seri- 
ously I remember a cook I used to talk to on my way 
down to Panama once " 

(" Panama ! How I'd like to go there ! ") 

" and he had as much culture as anybody I've 
ever met." 

" Yes, but generally do you find very much oh, cour- 
tesy and that sort of thing among mechanics, as much 
as among what calls itself ' the better class ' ? " 

" No, I don't." 

" You don't ? Why, I thought the way you 
spoke " 

" Why, blessed, what in the world would be the use of 
their trying to climb if they already had all the rich have ? 
You can't be as gracious as the man that's got nothing 
else to do, when you're about one jump ahead of the 
steam-roller every second. That's why they ought to 
take things. If I were a union man, I wouldn't trust 
all these writers and college men and so on, that try to 
be sympathetic. Not for one minute. They mean 
well, but they can't get what it means to a real work- 
man to have to be up at five every winter morning, with 
no heat in the furnished housekeeping room ; or to have 
to see his Woman sick because he can't afford a doctor." 

268 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

So they talked, boy and girl, wondering together what 
the world really is like. 

" I want to find out what we can do with life ! " she 
said. " Surely it's something more than working to get 
tired, and then resting to go back to work. But I'm. 
confused about things/' She sighed. " My settlement 
work I went into it because I was bored. But it did make 
me realize how many people are hungry. And yet we- 
just talk and talk and talk Olive and I sit up half the 
night when she comes to my house, and when we're not 
talking about the new negligees we're making and the 
gorgeous tea-gowns we're going to have when we're mar- 
ried, we rescue the poor and think we're dreadfully 
advanced, but does it do any good to just talk ? Dear 
me, I split that poor infinite right down his middle." 

" I don't know. But I do know I don't want to be- 
just stupidly satisfied, and talking does keep me fromj 
that, anyway. See here, Miss Winslow, suppose some 
time I suggested that we become nice and earnest and 
take up socialism and single tax and this what is it ?' 
oh, syndicalism and really studied them, would you 
do it ? Make each other study ? " 

" Love to." 

" Does Dunleavy think much ? " 

She raised her eyebrows a bit, but hesitated. " Oh 
yes no, I don't suppose he does. Or anyway, mostly 
about the violin. He played a lot when he was at Yale." 

Thus was Carl encouraged to be fatuous, and he said, 
in a manner which quite dismissed Phil Dunleavy : " I 
don't believe he's very deep. Ra-ther light, I'd say." 

Her eyebrows had ascended farther. " Do you think 
so ? I'm sorry." 

" Why sorry ? " 

" Oh, he's always been rather a friend of mine. Olive 
and Phil and I roller-skated together at the age of eight."" 

" But " 

" And I shall probably marry Phil some day be- 
fore long." She turned abruptly to Charley Forbes, 
with a question. 

269 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Lost, already lost, was the playmate ; a loss that dis- 
gusted him with life. He beat his spirit, cursed him- 
self as a clumsy mechanic. He listened to Olive only 
by self -compulsion. It was minutes befoie he had the 
ability and the chance to say to Ruth : 

" Forgive me in the name of the Blue Bowl. Mr. 
Dunleavy was rather rude to me, and I've been just as 
rude and to you ! And without his excuse. For he 
naturally would want to protect you from a wild aviator 
coming from Lord knows where." 

" You are forgiven. And Phil was rude. And you're 
not a Lord-knows- where, I'm sure." 

Almost brusquely Carl demanded : " Come for a long 
tramp with me, on the Palisades. Next Saturday, if 
you can and if it's a decent day. . . . You said you liked 
to run away. . . . And we can be back before dinner, 
if you like." 

" Why let me think it over. Oh, I would like to. 
I've always wanted to do just that think of it, the Pali- 
sades just opposite, and I never see them except for a 
walk of half a mile or so when I stay with a friend of 
mine, Laura Needham, at Winklehurst, up on the Pali- 
sades. My mother never approved of a wilder wilder- 
ness than Central Park and the habit I've never 

been able to get Olive to explore. But it isn't conven- 
tional to go on long tramps with even the nicest new 
Johnnies, is it ? " 

No, but " 

" I know. You'll say, ' Who makes the convention ? ' 
and of course there's no answer but ' They/ But They 

are so all-present. They Oh yes, yes, yes, I will 

go ! But you will let me get back by dinner-time, won't 
you ? Will you call for me about two ? . . . And can 

you I wonder if a hawk out of the windy skies can 

understand how daring a dove out of Ninety-second 
Street feels at going walking on the Palisades ? " 



270 



CHAPTER XXXI 

THE iron Hudson flowed sullenly, far below the ice- 
enamelled rock on the Palisades, where stood Ruth 
and Carl, shivering in the abrupt wind that cut down 
the defile. The scowling, slatey river was filled with 
ice-floes and chunks of floating, water-drenched snow 
that broke up into bobbing sheets of slush. The sky 
was solid cold grey, with no arch and no hint of the lost 
sun. Crows winging above them stood out against the 
sky like pencil-marks on clean paper. The estates in 
upper New York City, across the river, were snow-cloaked, 
the trees chilly and naked, the houses standing out as 
though they were freezing and longing for their summer 
wrap of ivy. And naked were the rattling trees on their 
side of the river, on the Palisades. But the cold breeze 
enlivened them, the sternness of the swift, cruel river and 
miles of brown shore made them gravely happy. As 
they tramped briskly off, atop the cliffs, toward the ferry 
to New York, five miles away, they talked with a quiet, 
quick seriousness which discovered them to each other. 
It was too cold for conversational fencing. It was too 
splendidly open for them not to rejoice in the freedom from 
New York streets and feel like heroes conquering the miles. 

Carl was telling of Joralemon, of Plato, of his first 
flights before country fairs ; something of what it meant 
to be a newspaper hero, and of his loneliness as a Dethroned 
Prince. Ruth dropped her defences of a chaperoned 
young woman ; confessed that now that she had no mother 
to keep her mobilized and in the campaign to get nearer 
to " Society " and a " decent marriage/' she did not know 
exactly what she wanted to do with life. She spoke 
tentatively of her vague settlement work ; in all she 
said she revealed an honesty as forthright as though 
she were a gaunt-eyed fanatic instead of a lively-voiced 
girl in a blue corduroy jacket with collar and cuffs of 
civet and buttons from Venice. 

Then Carl spoke of his religion the memory of Forrest 
Haviland. He had never really talked of him to anyone 

271 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

save Colonel Haviland and Titherington, the English 
aviator ; but now this girl, who had never seen Forrest, 
seemed to have known him for life. Carl made vivid by 
his earnestness the golden hours of work together in Cali- 
fornia ; the confidences in New York restaurants ; his 
long passion for their Brazilian trip. Ruth's eyes looked 
up at him with swift comprehension, and there was a 
tear in them as he told in ten words of the message that 
Forrest was dead. 

They turned gay, Ruth's sturdy, charming shoulders 
shrugging like a Frenchman's with the exhilaration of 
fast walking and keen air, while her voice, light and cheer- 
ful, with graceful modulations and the singer's freedom 
from twang, rejoiced : 

" I'm so glad we came ! I'm so glad we came ! But 
I'm afraid of the wild beasts I see in the woods there. 
They have no right to have twilight so early. I know 
a big newspaper man who lives at Pompton, N.J., and 
I'm going to ask him to write to the governor about it. 
The legislature ought to pass a law that dusk shan't 
come till seven, Saturday afternoons. Do you know how 
glad I am that you made me come ? . . . And how 
honoured I am to have you tell me Lieutenant Haviland 
and the very bad Carl that lived in Joralemon ? " 

" It's I'm glad Say, gee ! we'll have to 

hurry like the dickens if we're going to catch a ferry in 
time to get you home for dinner." 

" I have an idea. I wonder if we dare I have a 

friend, sort of a distant cousin, who married her a hus- 
band at Winklehurst, on the Palisades, not very far from 
the ferry. I wonder if we couldn't make her invite us 
both for dinner ? Of course, she'll want to know all about 
you ; but we'll be mysterious, and that will make it all 
the more fun, don't you think ? I do want to prolong 
our jaunt, you see." 

" I can't think of anything I'd rather do. But do you 
dare impose a perfectly strange man on her ? " 

" Oh yes, I know her so well that she's told me what 
kind of a tie her husband had on when he proposed." 

272 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Let's do it ! " 

" A telephone ! There's some shops ahead there, in 
that settlement. Ought to be a telephone there. . . . 
I'll make her give us a good dinner ! If Laura thinks 
she'll get away with hash and a custard with a red cherry 
in it, she'd better undeceive herself/' 

They entered a tiny wayside shop for the sale of candy 
and padlocks and mittens. While Ruth telephoned to 
her friend, Mrs. Laura Needham, Carl bought red-and- 
blue and lemon-coloured all-day suckers, and a sugar 
mouse, and a candy kitten with green ears and real 
whiskers. He could not but hear Ruth telephoning, and 
they grinned at each other like conspirators, her eyelids 
in little wrinkles as she tried to look wicked, her voice 
amazingly innocent as she talked, Carl carefully arraying 
his purchases before her, making the candy kitten pursue 
the sugar mouse round and round the telephone. 

" Hello, hello ! Is Mrs. Needham there ? . . . Hello ! 
. . . Oh, hel-/o, Laura dear. This is Ruth. I ... 
Fine. I feel fine. But chillery. Listen, Laura ; I've 
been taking a tramp along the Palisades. Am I invited 
to dinner with a swain ? . . . What ? . . . Oh yes, I 
am ; certainly I'm invited to dinner. . . . Well, my dear, 
go in town by all means, with my blessing ; but that 
shan't prevent you from having the opportunity to enjoy 
being hospitable. ... I don't know. What ferry do 
you catch ? . . . The 7.20 ? . . . N-no, I don't think 
we can get there till after that, so you can go right ahead 
and have the Biddy get ready for us. ... All right; 
that is good of you, dear, to force the invitation on me/' 
She flushed as her eyes met Carl's. She continued : " But 
seriously, will it be too much of a tax on the Biddy if we 
do come ? We're drefful cold, and it's a long crool way to 
town. . . . Thank you, dear. It shall be returned 
unto you after not too many days. . . . What ? . . . 
Who ? . . . Oh, a man. . . . Why, yes, it might be, 
but I'd be twice as likely to go tramping with Olive as 
with Phil. . . . No, it isn't. . . . Oh, as usual. He's 
getting to be quite a dancing-man. . . . Well, if you 

273 s 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

must know oh, I can't give you his name. He's " 

She glanced at Carl appraisingly. " he's about 
five feet tall, and he has a long French shovel beard and 
a lovely red nose, and he's listening to me describe him ! " 
Carl made the kitten chase the mouse furiously. 
" Perhaps I'll tell you about him some time. . . . 
Good-bye, Laura dear." 

She turned to Carl, rubbing her cold ear where the 
telephone-receiver had pressed against it, and carolled : 
" Her husband is held late at the office, and Laura is 
going to meet him in town, and they're going to the 
theatre. So we'll have the house all to ourselves. Excit- 
ing ! " She swung round to telephone home that she 
would not be there for dinner. 

As they left the shop, went over a couple of blocks for 
the Winklehurst tram, and boarded it, Carl did some 
swift thinking. He was not above flirting or, if the oppor- 
tunity offered, carrying the flirtation to the most delicious, 
exciting, uncertain lengths he could. Here, with " dinner 
in their own house," with a girl interesting yet unknown, 
there was a feeling of sudden intimacy which might mean 
anything. Only when their joined eyes had pledged 
mischief while she telephoned, she had been so quiet, so 
frank, so evidently free from a shamefaced erotic curiosity, 
that now he instantly dismissed the query, " How far 
could I go ? What does she expect ? " which, outside of 
pure-minded romances, really does come to men. It was 
a wonderful relief to dismiss the query ; a simplification 
to live in the joy each moment gave of itself. The hour 
was like a poem. Yet he was no extraordinary person ; 
he had, in the lonely hours of a dead room, been tortured 
with the unmoral longings which, good or bad, men do 
feel. 

As they took their seats in the car, and Ruth beat on 
her knees with her fur-lined gloves, he laughed back, 
altogether happy, not pretending, as he had pretended 
with Eve L'Ewysse. 

Happy. But hungry! 

Mrs. Needham should have been graciously absent by 
274 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the time they reached her house a suburban residence 
with a large porch. But, as they approached, Ruth cried : 

" 'Shhhh I There seems to be somebody moving 
around in the living-room. I don't believe Laura's gone 
yet. That would spoil it. Come on. Let's peep. Let's 
be Indian scouts ! " 

Cautioning each other with warning pats, they tip- 
toed guiltily to the side of the house and peered in at 
the dining-room window, where the shade was raised 
a couple of inches above the sill. A noise at the back of 
the house made them start and flatten against the wall. 

" Big chief," whispered Carl, " the redskins are upon 
us ! But old Brown Barrel shall make many an one 
bite the dust ! " 

" Hush, silly. . . . Oh, it's just the maid. See, 
she's looking at the clock and wondering why we don't 
get here." 

" But maybe Mrs. Needham's in the other room." 

" No. Because the maid's sniffing around there, 
she's reading a post card someone left on the side-table. 
Oh yes, and she's chewing gum. Laura has certainly 
departed. Probably Laura is chewing gum herself at 
the present moment, now that she's out from under the 
eye of her maid. Laura always was ree-fmed, but I 
wouldn't trust her to be proof against the feeling of wild 
dissipation you can get out of chewing gum, if you live 
in Winklehurst." 

They had rung the door-bell on the porch by now. 

" I'm so glad," said Ruth, " that Laura is gone. She 
is very literal-minded. She might not understand that 
we could be hastily married and even lease a house, this 
way, and still be only tea acquaintances." 

The maid had not yet answered. Waiting in the still 
porch, winter everywhere beyond it, Carl was all excited 
anticipation. He hastily pressed her hand, and she lightly 
returned the pressure, laughing, breathing quickly. They 
started like convicted lovers as the maid opened the 
door. The consciousness of their starting made them the 
more embarrassed, and they stammered before the maid. 

275 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Ruth fled upstairs, while Carl tried to walk up gravely, 
though he was tingling with the game. 

When he had washed (discovering, as every one newly 
discovers after every long, chilly walk, that water from 
the cold tap feels amazingly warm on hands congealed 
by the tramp), and was loitering in the upper hall, Ruth 
called to him from Mrs. Needham's room : 

" I think you'll find hair-brushes and things in Jack's 
room, to the right. Oh, I am very stupid ; I forgot this 
was our house ; I mean in your room, of course." 

He had a glimpse of her, twisting up a strand of natur- 
ally wavy brown hair, a silver-backed hair-brush bright 
against it, her cheeks flushed to an even crimson, her blue 
corduroy jacket off, and, warmly intimate in its stead, a 
blouse of blue satin, opening in a shallow triangle at her 
throat. With a tender big-brotherliness he sought the 
room that was his, not Jack's. No longer was this the 
house of Other People, but one in which he belonged. 

" No/ 1 he heard himself explain, " she isn't beautiful. 
Istra Nash was nearer that. But, golly ! she is such a 
good pal, and she is beautiful if an English lane is. Oh, 
stop rambling. ... If I could kiss that little honey place 
at the base of her throat. , . ." 

" Yes, Miss Winslow. Coming. Am I ready for dinner ? 
Watch me ! " 

She confided as he came out into the hall, " Isn't it 
terribly confusing to have our home and even three toby- 
children all ready-made for us, this way ! " 

Her glance eyes that always startled him with blue 
where dark-brown was expected ; even teeth showing ; 
head cocked sidelong ; cheeks burning with fire of Decem- 
ber snow her glance and all her manner trusted him, 
the outlaw. It was not as an outsider, but as her com- 
rade that he answered : 

" Golly ! have we a family, too ? I always forget. 
So sorry. But you know get so busy at the office " 

" Why, I think we have one. I'll go look in the nursery 
and make sure, but I'm almost positive " 

" No, I'll take your word for it. You're around the 
276 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

house more than I am. . . . But, oh, say, speaking of 
that, that reminds me : Woman, if you think that I'm going 
to buy you a washing-machine this year, when I've already 
bought you a napkin-ring and a portrait of Martha Wash- 
ington " 

" Oh weh ! I knew I should have a cruel husband 

who Joy ! I think the maid is prowling about 

and trying to listen. 'Shhh ! The story Laura will get 
out of her ! " 

While the maid served dinner, there could scarce have 
been a more severely correct pair, though Carl did step 
on her toe when she was saying to the maid, in her best 
off-hand manner, " Oh, Leah, will you please tell Mrs. 
Needham that I stole a handkerchief from my I mean 
from her room ? " 

But when the maid had been unable to find any more 
imaginary crumbs to brush off the table, and had left 
them alone with their hearts and the dessert, a most 
rowdy young " married couple " quarrelled violently over 
the washing-machine he still refused to buy for her. 

Carl insisted that, as suburbanites, they had to play 
cards, and he taught her pinochle, which he had learned 
from the bartender of the Bowery saloon. But the cards 
dropped from their fingers, and they sat before the gas- 
log in the living-room, in a lazy, perfect happiness, when 
she said : 

" All the while we've been playing cards and playing 
the still more dangerous game of being married I've 
been thinking how glad I am to know about your life. 
Somehow I wonder if you have told so very many ? " 

" Practically no one." 

" I do I'm really not fishing for compliments, 

but I do want to be found understanding " 

" There's never been anyone so understanding." 

Silent then. Carl glanced about the modern room. 
Ruth's eyes followed. She nodded as he said : 

" But it's really an old farm-house out in the hills where 
the snow is deep ; and there's logs in the fireplace." 

" Yes, and rag carpets." 

277 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" And, oh, Ruth, listen, a bob-sled with Golly ! 

I suppose it is a little premature to call you ' Ruth/ but 
after our being married all evening I don't see how I can 
call you ' Miss Winslow/ " 

" No, I'm afraid it would scarcely be proper, under 
the circumstances. Then I must be ' Mrs. Ericson/ 
Ooh ! It makes me think of Norse galleys and northern 
seas. Of course your galley was the aeroplane. . . . 

' Mrs. Eric ' " Her voice ran down ; she flushed 

and said, defensively : " What time is it ? I think we 
must be starting. I telephoned I would be home by ten/' 
Her tone was conventional as her words. 

But as they stood waiting for a tram to the New York 
ferry, on a street corner transformed by an arc-light 
that swung in the wind and cast wavering films of radiance 
among the vague wintry trees of a wood-lot, Ruth tucked 
her arm under his, small beside his great ulster, and sighed 
like a child : 

" I am ver-ee cold ! " 

He rubbed her hand protectingly, her mouselike hand 
in its fur-lined glove. His canny, self -defensive, Scotch- 
like Norse soul opened its gates. He knew a longing to 
give, a passion to protect her, a whelming desire to have 
shy secrets with this slim girl. All the poetry in the 
world sounded its silver harps within him because his 
eyes were opened and it was given to him to see her face. 
Gently he said : 

" Yes, it's cold, and there's big grey ghosts hiding there 
in the trees, with their leathery wings, that were made 
out of sea-fog by the witches, folded in front of them, and 
they're glumming at us over the bony, knobly joints on 
top their wings, with big, round platter eyes. And the 
wind is calling us it's trying to snatch us out on the 
arctic snow-fields, to freeze us. But I'll fight them all 
off. I won't let them take you, Ruth." 

" I'm sure you won't, Carl." 

"And oh you won't let Phil Dunleavy keep you 
from running away, not for a while yet ? " 

" M-maybe not." 

278 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

The sky had cleared. She tilted up her chin and adored 
the stars stars like the hard, cold, fighting sparks that 
fly from a tram-wire. Carl looked down fondly, noting 
how fair-skinned was her forehead in contrast to her 
thick, dark brows, as the arc-light's brilliance rested 
on her worshipping face her lips a-tremble and slightly 
parted. She raised her arms, her fingers widespread, 

praising the star-gods. She cried only, " Oh, all this " 

but it was a prayer to a greater god Pan, shaking his snow- 
encrusted beard to the roar of northern music. To Carl 
her cry seemed to pledge faith in the starred sky and the 
long trail and a glorious restlessness that by a dead fire- 
place of white, smooth marble would never find content. 

" Like sword-points, those stars are," he said, then 

Then they heard the tram's flat wheels grinding on a 
curve. Its search-light changed the shadow-haunted 
woodland to a sad group of scanty trees, huddling in front 
of an old hoarding, with its top broken and the tattered 
posters flapping. The wanderers stepped from the 
mystical romance of the open night into the exceeding 
realism of the car highly realistic wooden floor with 
small, muddy pools from lumps of dirty melting snow, 
hot air, a smell of Italian workmen, a German conductor 
with the sniffles, a row of shoes mostly wet and all wrinkled. 
They had to stand. Most realistic of all, they read the 
glossy car-signs advertising soap and little cigars, and 
the enterprising local advertisement of " Wm. P. Smith & 
Sons, All Northern New Jersey Real Estate, Cheaper 
Than Rent/' So, instantly, the children of the night 
turned into two sophisticated young New-Yorkers, who 
apologizing for fresh-air yawns, talked of the theatrical 
season. 

But for a moment a strange look of distance dwelt in 
Ruth's eyes, and she said : " I wonder what I can do with 
the winter stars we've found ? Will Ninety-second Street 
be big enough for them ? " 



279 



CHAPTER XXXII 

FOR a week the week before Christmas Carl had 
seen neither Ruth nor Gertie ; but of the office he 
had seen too much. They were " rushing work " on the 
Touricar to have it on the market early in 1913. Every 
afternoon or evening he left the office with his tongue 
scaly from too much nervous smoking ; poked dully about 
the streets, not much desiring to go any place, nor to 
watch the crowds, after all the curiosity had been drawn 
out of him by hours of work. Several times he went to 
a super-movie, a cinema palace on Broadway above 
Seventy-second Street, with an entrance in New York 
Colonial architecture, and crowds of well-to-do Jewish 
girls in opera-cloaks. 

On the two bright mornings of the week he wanted 
to play truant from the office, to be off with Ruth over 
the hills and far away. Both mornings there came to 
him a picture of Gertie, wanting to slip out and play like 
Ruth, but having no chance. He felt guilty because he 
had never bidden Gertie come tramping, and guiltily 
he recalled that it was with her that the boy Carl had 
gone to seek-our-f or tunes. He told himself that he had 
been depending upon Gertie for the bread-and-butter 
of friendship, and begging for the opportunity to give the 
stranger, Ruth Winslow, dainties of which she already 
had too much. 

When he called, Sunday evening, he found Gertie alone, 
reading a love-story in a woman's magazine. 

" I'm so glad you came," she said. " I was getting 
quite lonely." She was as gratefully casual as ever. 

" Say, Gertie, I've got a plan. Wouldn't you like to 
go for some good long hikes in the country ? " 

" Oh yes ; that would be fine when spring comes." 

" No ; I mean now, in the winter." 

She looked at him heavily. " Why, isn't it pretty cold, 
don't you think ? " 

He prepared to argue, but he did not think of her as 
looking heavily. He did not draw swift comparisons 

280 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

between Gertie's immobility and Ruth's lightness. He 
was used to Gertie ; was in her presence comfortably 
understanding and understood ; could find whatever he 
expected in her as easily as one finds the editorial page 
or the sporting page in a familiar newspaper. He merely 
became mildly contentious and made questioning noises 
in his throat as she went on : 

" You know it is pretty cold here. They can say all 
they want to about the cold and all that out in Minne- 
sota, but, really, the humidity " 

" Rats ; it isn't so very cold, not if you walk fast." 

" Well, maybe ; anyway, I guess it would be nice to 
explore some." 

" All right ; let's." 

" I do think people are so conventional. Don't you ? " 
said Gertie, while Carl discerningly stole one of Ray's 
best cigars out of the humidor. " Awfully conventional. 
Not going out for good long walks. Dorothy Gibbons 
and I did find the nicest place to walk, up in Bronx Park, 
and there's such a dear little restaurant, right on the 
water ; of course the water was frozen, but it seemed 
quite wild, you know, for New York. We might take 
that walk, whenever you'd like to." 

" Oh Bronx Park gee ! Gertie, I can't get up much 
excitement over that. I want to get away from this 
tame city, and forget all about offices and parks and people 
and everything like that." 

" N-n-n-now ! " she clucked in a patronizing way. 
" We mustn't ask New York to give us wilderness, you 
know ! I'm afraid that would be a little too much to 
ask of it ! Don't you think so yourself ? " 

Carl groaned to himself, " I won't be mothered ! " 

He was silent. His silence was positively noisy. He 
wanted her to hear it. But it is difficult to be sulky with 
a bland, plump woman of thirty who remembers your 
childhood trick of biting your nails, and glances up at 
you from her embroidery, occasionally patting her brown 
silk hair or smoothing her brown silk blouse in a way 
which implies a good digestion, a perfect memory of the 

281 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

morning's lesson of her Sunday-school class, and a mild 
disbelief in men as anything except relatives, providers, 
card-players, and nurslings. Carl gave up the silence-cure. 

He hummed about the room, running over the adver- 
tising pages of magazines, discussing Plato fraternities, 
and waiting till it should be time to go home. Their 
conversation kept returning to the fraternities. There 
wasn't much else to talk about. Before to-night they had 
done complete justice to all other topics Joralemon, 
Bennie Rusk, Joe Jordan's engagement, Adelaide Benner, 
and symphony concerts. Gertie embroidered, patted her 
hair, smoothed her blouse, looked cheerful, rocked, and 
spoke ; embroidered, patted her hair, smoothed her sleeve, 
looked amiable, rocked, and spoke embroidered, pat 

At a quarter to ten Carl gave himself permission to go. 
Said he : "I'll have to get on the job pretty early to- 
morrow. Not much taking it easy here in New York, 
the way you can in Joralemon, eh ? So I guess I'd 
better " 

" I'm sorry you have to go so early." Gertie carefully 
stuck her embroidery needle into her work, rolled up 
the work meticulously, laid it down on the centre-table, 
straightened the pile of magazines which Carl had deranged, 
and rose. " But I'm glad you could drop up this evening. 
Come up any time you haven't anything better to do. Oh 
what about our tramp ? If you know some place that 
is better than Bronx Park, we might try it." 

" Why uh yes why, sure ; we'll have to, some 
time." 

" And, Carl, you're coming up to have your Christmas 
turkey with us, aren't you ? " 

" I'd like to, a lot, but darn it, I've accepted 'nother 
invitation." 

That was absolutely untrue, and Carl was wondering 
why he had lied, when the storm broke. 

Gertie's right arm, affectedly held out from the elbow, 
the hand drooping, in the attitude of a refined hostess 
saying good-bye, dropped stiffly to her side. Slowly she 
thrust out both arms, shoulder-high on either side, with 

282 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

her fists clenched ; her head back and slightly on one 
side ; her lips open in agony the position of crucifixion. 
Her eyes looked up, unseeing ; then closed tight. She 
drew a long breath, like a sigh that was too weary for 
sound, and her plump, placid left hand clutched her pant- 
ing breast, while her right arm dropped again. All the 
passion of tragedy seemed to shriek in her hopeless gesture, 
and her silence was a wail muffled and despairing. 

Carl stared, twisting his watch-chain with nervous 
fingers, wanting to flee. 

It was a raw woman, with all the proprieties of Jorale- 
mon and St. Orgul's cut away, who spoke, her voice con- 
stantly rising: 

" Oh, Carl Carl ! Oh, why, why, why ! Oh, why 
don't you want me to go walking with you, now ? Why 
don't you want to go anywhere with me any more ? Have 
I displeased you ? Oh, I didn't mean to ! Why do I bore 
you so ? " 

" Oh Gertie oh gee ! thunder ! " whimpered a dis- 
mayed youth. A more mature Hawk Ericson struggled 

to life and soothed her ; " Gertie, honey, I didn't mean 

Listen " 

But she moaned on, standing rigid, her left hand on 
her breast, her eyes red, moist, frightened, fixed : " We 
always played together, and I thought here in the city 
we could be such good friends, with all the different new 
things to do together why, I wanted us to go to China- 
town and theatres, and I would have been so glad to pay 
my share. I've just been waiting and hoping you would 
ask me, and I wanted us to play and see oh ! so many 
different new things together it would have been so 

sweet, so sweet We were good friends at first, and 

then you you didn't want to come here any more and 

Oh, I couldn't help seeing it ; more and more and more 
and more I've been seeing it ; but I didn't want to see it ; 
but now I can't fool myself any more. I was so lonely 
till you came to-night, and when you spoke about tramp- 
ing And then it seemed like you just went away 

from me again." 

283 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

' Why, Gertie, you didn't seem- 



" and long ago I really saw it, the day we walked 
in the Park and I was wicked about trying to make you 
call me ' Eltruda ' oh, Carl dear, indeed you needn't 
call me that or anything you don't like and I tried to 
make you say I had a temperament. And about Ade- 
laide and all. And you went away and I thought you 
would come back to me that evening oh, I wanted you 
to come, so much, and you didn't even 'phone and I 
waited up till after midnight, hoping you would 'phone, 
I kept thinking surely you would, and you never did, 
you never did ; and I listened and listened for the 'phone 

to ring, and every time there was a noise But it 

never was you. It never rang at all. ..." 

She dropped back in the Morris chair, her eyes against 
the cushion, her hair disordered, both her hands gripping 
the left arm of the chair, her sobs throat-catching and 
long throb-throb-throb in the death-still air. 

Carl stared at her, praying for a chance to escape. Then 
he felt an instinct prompting him to sob with her. Pity, 
embarrassment, disgust, mingled with his alarm. He 
became amazed, that Gertie, easygoing Gertie Cowles, 
had any passion at all ; and indignant that it was visited 
upon himself. 

But he had to help. He moved to her chair and, squat- 
ting boyishly on its arm, stroked her hair, begging : " Ger- 
tie, Gertie, I did mean to come up, that night. Indeed 
I did, honey. I would have come up, but I met some 
friends couldn't break away from them all evening." 
A chill ran between his shoulder-blades. It was a shock 
to the pride he took in Ruth's existence. The evening 
in question had found Ruth for him ! It seemed as 
though Gertie had dared with shrewish shrillness to intrude 
upon hjs beautiful hour. But pity came to him again. 
Stroking her hair, he went urgently on : " Don't you see ? 
Why, blessed, I wouldn't hurt you for anything ! Just 
to-night why, you remember, first thing, I wanted us 
to plan for some walks ; reason I didn't say more about 
it was, I didn't know as you'd want to, much. Why, 

284 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Gertie, anybody would be proud to play with you. You 
know so much about concerts and all sorts of stuff. Any- 
body 'd be proud to ! " He wound up with a fictitious 
cheerfulness. " We'll have some good long hikes together, 
heh ? . . . It's better now, isn't it, kiddy ? You're 
just tired to-night. Has something been worrying you ? 
Tell old Carl all about " 

She wiped her tears away with the adorable gesture 
of a child trying to be good, and like a child's was her 
glance, bewildered, hurt, yet trusting, as she said in a 
small, shy voice : " Would folks really be proud to play 
with me ? . . . We did use to have some dear times, 
didn't we ! Do you remember how we found some fool's 
gold, and we thought it was gold and hid it on the shore 
of the lake, and we were going to buy a ship ? Do you 
remember ? You haven't forgotten all our good times, 
while you've been so famous, have you ? " 

" Oh no, no ! " 

" But why don't Carl, why don't you why can't you 
care more now ? " 

" Why, I do care ! You're one of the bulliest pals I 
have, you and Ray." 

" And Ray ! " 

She flung his hand away and sat bolt up, angry. 

Carl retired to a chair beside the Morris chair, fidgeting. 
" Can you beat it ? Is this Gertie and me ? " he inquired 
in a parenthesis in his heart. For a second, as she stared 
haughtily at him, he spitefully recalled the fact that Gertie 
had once discarded him for a glee-club dentist. But 
he submerged the thought and listened with a rather 
forced big-brother air as she repented of her anger and 
went on : 

" Carl, don't you understand how hard it is for a woman 
to forget her pride this way ? " The hauteur of being 
one of the elite of Joralemon again flashed out. " Maybe 
if you'll think real hard you'll remember I used to, could 
get you to be so kind and talk to me without having to 
beg you so hard. Why, I'd been to New York and known 
the nicest people before you'd ever stirred a foot out of 

285 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Joralemon ! You were Oh, please forgive me, Carl ; 

I didn't mean to be snippy ; I just don't know what to 
think of myself and I did used to think I was a lady, and 
here I am practically up and telling you and " 

She leaned from her chair towards his, and took his 
hand, touching it, finding its hard, bony places, and the 
delicate white hollows of flesh between his coarsened yet 
shapely fingers ; tracing a scarce-seen vein on the back ; 
exploring a well-beloved yet ill-known country. Carl 
was unspeakably disconcerted. He was thinking that, 
to him, Gertie was set aside from the number of women 
who could appeal physically, quite as positively as though 
she were some old aunt who had for twenty years seemed 
to be the same adult, plump, uninteresting age, Gertie's 
solid flesh, the monotony of her voice, the unimaginative 
fixity of her round cheeks, a certain increasing slackness 
about her waist, even the faint, stuffy domestic scent 
of her they all expressed to him her lack of humour and 
fancy and venturesomeness. She was crystallized in 
his mind as a good friend with a plain soul and sisterly 
tendencies. Awkwardly he said : 

" You mustn't talk like that. . . . Gee ! Gertie, 
we'll be in a regular ' scene,' if you don't watch out ! . . . 
We're just good friends, and you can always bank on me, 
same as I would on you." 

" But why must we be just friends ? " 

He wanted to be rude, but he was patient. Mechani- 
cally stroking her hair again, leaning forward most uncom- 
fortably from his chair, he stammered : " Oh, I've been 

Oh, you know ; I've wandered around so much that it's 
kind of put me out of touch with even my best friends, 
and I don't know where I'm at. I couldn't make any 

alliances Gee ! that sounds affected. I mean : I've 

got to sort of start in now all over, finding where I'm 
at/' 

" But why must we be just friends, then ? " 

"Listen, child. It's hard to tell; I guess I didn't 

know till now what it does mean, but there's a girl 

Wait ; listen. There's a girl at first I simply thought 

286 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

it was good fun to know her, but now, Lord ! Gertie, 
you'd think I was pretty sentimental if I told you what 
I think of her. God ! I want to see her so much ! Right 
now ! I haven't let myself know how much I wanted 
her. She's everything. She's sister and chum and wife 
and everything." 

" It's But I am glad for you. Will you believe 

that ? And perhaps you understand how I felt, now. 

I'm very sorry I let myself go. I hope you will Oh, 

please go now." 

He sprang up, only too ready to go. But first he kissed 
her hand with a courtly reverence, and said, with a sweet- 
ness new to him : " Dear, will you forgive me if I've ever 
hurt you ? And will you believe how very, very much 
I honour you ? And when I see you again there won't 
be we'll both forget all about to-night, won't we ? We'll 
just be the old Carl and Gertie again. Tell me to come 
when " 

" Yes. I will. Good night." 

" Good night, Gertie. God bless you." 

He never remembered where he walked that night 
when he had left Gertie. The exercise, the chill of the 
night, gradually set his numbed mind working again. 
But it dwelt with Ruth, not with Gertie. Now that 
he had given words to his longing for Ruth, to his pride 
in her, he understood that he had passed the hidden 
border of that misty land called " being in love," which 
cartographers have variously described as a fruitful tract 
of comfortable harvests, as a labyrinth with walls of rose 
and silver, and as a tenebrous realm of unhappy ghosts. 

He stopped at a street corner where, above a saloon 
with a large beer-sign, stretched dim tenement windows 
toward a dirty sky ; and on that drab corner glowed for 
a moment the mystic light of the Rose of All the World 
before a Tammany saloon ! Chin high, yearning toward 
a girl somewhere off to the south, Carl poignantly recalled 
how Ruth had worshipped the stars. His soul soared, 
lark and hawk in one, triumphant over the matter-of- 

287 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

factness of daily life. Carl Ericson the mechanic, stand- 
ing in front of a saloon, with a laundry to one side and a 
cigars-and-stationery shop round the corner, was one 
with the young priest saying mass, one with the suffragist 
woman defying a jeering mob, one with Ruth Winslow 
listening to the ringing stars. 

" God help me to be worthy of her 1 " 
Nothing more did he say, in word, yet he was changed 
for ever. 

Changed. True that when he got home, half an hour 
later, and in the dark ran his nose against an opened door 
he said, " Damn it ! " very naturally. True that on 
Monday, back in the office that awaits its victims equally 
after Sundays golden or dreary, he forgot Ruth's existence 
for hours at a time. True that at lunch with two VanZile 
automobile salesmen he ate Wiener Schnitzel and shot 
dice for cigars, with no sings of a mystic change. It 
is even true that, dining at the Brevoort with Charley 
Forbes, he thought of Istra Nash, and for a minute was 
lonely for Istra's artistic dissipation. Yet the change 
was there. 



288 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

FROM Titherington, the aviator, in his Devonshire 
home, from a millionaire amateur flier among the 
orange-groves at Pasadena, from his carpenter father in 
Joralemon, and from Gertie in New York, Carl had invita- 
tions for Christmas, but none that he could accept. Van- 
Zile had said pleasantly, " Going out to the country for 
Christmas ? " 

" Yes/ 1 Carl had lied. 

Again he saw himself as the Dethroned Prince, and 
remembered that one year ago, sailing for South America 
to fly with Tony Bean, he had been the lion at a Christmas 
party on shipboard, while Martin Dockerill, his mechanic, 
had been a friendly slave. 

He spent most of Christmas Eve alone in his room, 
turning over old letters, and aviation magazines with 
pictures of Hawk Ericson, wondering whether he might 
not go back to that lost world. Josiah Bagby, Jr., son 
of the eccentric doctor at whose school Carl had learned 
to fly, was experimenting with hydroaeroplanes and with 
bomb-dropping devices at Palm Beach, and imploring 
Carl, as the steadiest pilot in America, to join him. The 
dully noiseless room echoed the music of a steady motor 
carrying him out over a blue bay. Carl's own answer to 
the tempter vision was : " Rats ! I can't very well leave 
the Touricar now, and I don't know as I've got my flying 
nerve back yet. Besides, Ruth " 

Always he thought of Ruth, uneasy with the desire 
to be out dancing, laughing, playing with her. He was. 
tormented by a question he had been threshing out for 
days : Might he permissibly have sent her a Christmas 
present ? 

He went to bed at ten o'clock on Christmas Eve, 
when the streets were surging with voices and gay steps,, 
when rollicking piano-tunes from across the street pene- 
trated even closed windows, and a German voice as rich 
as milk chocolate was caressing, " Oh Tannenbaum, oh 
Tannenbaum, wie griln sind deine Blatter." . . . Then, 

289 T 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

slept for nine hours, woke with rapturous remembrance 
that he didn't have to go to the office, and sang "The 
Banks of the Saskatchewan " in his bath. When he 
returned to the house, after breakfast, he found a letter 
from Ruth : 

"The Day before Xmas and all through the Mansion 
The Maids with Turkey are Stirring Please Pardon 
the Scansion. 

"DEAR PLAYMATE, You said on our tramp that I would 
make a good playmate, but I'm sure that I should be a 
very poor one if I did not wish you a gloriously merry 
Xmas and a New Year that will bring you all the dear things 
you want. I shall be glad if you do not get this letter 
on Xmas day itself if that means that you are off at some 
charming country house having a most katische (is that 
the way it is spelled, probably not) time. But if by any 
chance you are in town, won't you make your playmate's 
shout to you from her back yard a part of your Xmas ? 
She feels shy about sending this effusive greeting with 
all its characteristic sloppiness of writing, but she does 
want you to have a welcome to Xmas fun, and won't you 
please give the Touricar a pair of warm little slippers from 

"RUTH GAYLORD WINSLOW. 

" P.S. Mrs. Tirrell has sent me an angel miniature Jap 
garden, with a tiny pergola and real dwarf trees and a bridge 
that you expect an Alfred Noyes lantern on, and oh, Carl, 
an issa goldfish in a pool ! 

"Miss R. WINSLOW." 

" ' all the dear things I want ' ! " Carl repeated, 
standing tranced in the hall, oblivious of the doctor- 
landlord peering at the back. " Ruth blessed, do you 
know the thing I want most ? . . . Say ! Great ! I'll 
hustle out and send her all the flowers in the world. Or, 
no. I've got it." He was already out of the house, 
hastening toward the subway. " I'll send her one of 

290 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

these lingerie tea-baskets with all kinds of baby pots of 
preserves and tea-balls and stuff. . . . Wonder what 
Dunleavy sent her ? . . . Rats ! I don't care. Jiminy I 
I'm happy ! Me to Palm Beach to fly ? Not a chance ! " 
He had Christmas dinner in state, with the California 
Exiles Club. 

Twice Carl called at Ruth's in the two weeks after 
Christmas. Once she declared that she was tired of 
modern life, that socialism and agnosticism shocked her, 
that the world needed the courtly stiffness of mid- Victorian 
days, as so ably depicted in the works of Mrs. Florence 
Barclay needed hair-cloth as a scourge for white tango- 
dancing backs. As for her, Ruth announced, she was 
going to be mid- Victorian just as soon as she could find 
a hair-locket, silk mitts, and an elderly female tortoise- 
shell cat with an instinctive sense of delicacy. She sat 
bolt-upright on the front of the most impersonal French- 
gilt chair in the drawing-room and asserted that Phil 
Dunleavy, with his safe ancestry of two generations of 
wholesalers and strong probabilities about the respect- 
ability of still another generation, was her ideal of a 
Christian gentleman. She wore a full white muslin gown 
with a blue sash, her hair primly parted in the middle, 
her right hand laid flat over her left in her lap. Her 
vocabulary was choice. For a second, when she referred 
to winter sports at Lake Placid, she forgot herself and 
tucked one smooth, silk-clad, un-mid- Victorian leg under 
her, but instantly she recovered her poise of a vicarage, re- 
marking, " I have been subject to very careless influences 
lately/' She called him neither " Carl " nor " Mr. Eric- 
son " nor anything else, and he dared not venture on 
Ruth. 

He went home in bewilderment. As he crossed Broad- 
way he loitered insolently, as though challenging the fly- 
ing squadron of taxicabs to run him down. " What do 
I care if they hit me ? " he inquired, savagely, of his 
sympathetic and applauding self. Every word she had 
said he examined, finding double and triple meanings, 

291 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

warning himself not to regard her mood seriously, but 
unable to make the warning take. 

On his next call there was a lively Ruth who invited 
him up to the library, read extracts from Stephen Leacock's 
Nonsense Novels ; turned companionably serious, and told 
him how divided were her sympathies between her father 
the conscientiously worried employer and a group of 
strikers in his factory. She made coffee in a fantastic 
percolator, and played Debussy and ragtime. At ten- 
thirty, the hour at which he had vehemently resolved 
to go, they were curled in two big chairs eating chocolate 
peppermints and talking of themselves apropos of as- 
tronomy and the Touricar and Lincoln Beachey's daring 
and Mason Winslow and patriotism and Joralemon. Ruth's 
father drifted in from his club at a quarter to eleven. Carl 
now met him for the first time. He was a large-stomached, 
bald, sober, friendly man, with a Gladstone collar, a huge 
watch-chain, kindly trousers and painfully smart tan 
boots, a father of the kind who gives cigars and non- 
committal encouragement to daughter's suitors. 

It takes a voice with personality and modulations to 
make a fifteen-minute telephone conversation tolerable, 
and youth to make it possible. Ruth had both. For 
fifteen minutes she discussed with Carl the question of 
whether she should go to Marion Browne's dinner-dance 
at Delmonico's, as Phil wished, or go ski-ing in the West- 
chester Hills, as Carl wished, the coming Saturday the 
first Saturday in February, 1913. Carl won. 

They arrived at a station in the Bedford Hills, bearing 
long, carved-prowed Norwegian skis, which seemed to 
hypnotize the other passengers. To Carl's joy (for he 
associated that suit with the Palisades and their discovery 
of each other), Ruth was in her blue corduroy, with high- 
lace boots and a grey sweater jacket of silky wool. Carl 
displayed a tweed Norfolk jacket, a great sweater, and 
mittens unabashed. He had a mysterious pack which, 
he informed the excited Ruth, contained Roland's sword 

292 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and the magic rug of Bagdad. Together they were apple- 
cheeked, chattering children of outdoors. 

For all the horizon's weight of dark clouds, clear sun- 
shine lay on clear snow as they left the train and trotted 
along the road, carrying their skis beyond the outskirts 
of the town. Country sleigh-bells chinkled down a hill ; 
children shouted and made snow houses ; elders stamped 
their feet and clucked, " Fine day ! " New York was far 
off and ridiculously unimportant. Carl and Ruth reached 
an open sloping field, where the snow that partly covered 
a large rock was melting at its lacy, crystalled edges, 
staining the black rock to a shiny wetness that was 
infinitely cheerful in its tiny reflection of the blue sky 
at the zenith. On a tree whose bleak bark the sun had 
warmed, vagrant sparrows in hand-me-down feathers 
discussed rumours of the establishment of a bread-crumb 
line and the better day that was coming for all proletarian 
sparrows. A rounded drift of snow stood out against a 
red barn. The litter of corn-stalks and straw in a barn- 
yard was transformed from disordered muck to a tessella- 
tion of warm silver and old gold. Not the delicate red and 
browns and greys alone, but everywhere the light, as well, 
caressed the senses. A distant dog barked good-natured 
greeting to all the world. The thawing land stirred with 
a promise that spring might in time return to lovers. 

" Oh, to-day is beautiful as as it's beautiful as frost- 
ing on a birthday-cake ! " cried Ruth, as she slipped her 
feet into the straps of her skis, preparing for her first 
lesson. " These $kis seem so dreadfully long and unman- 
ageable, now I get them on. Like seven-foot table- 
knives, and my silly feet like orange seeds in the middle 
of the knives ! " 

The skis were, unmanageable. 

One climbed up on the other, and Ruth tried to lift 
her own weight. When she was sliding down a hillock 
they spread apart, eager to chase things lying in entirely 
different directions. Ruth came down between them, 
her pretty nose ploughing the wet snow-crust. Carl, 
speeding beside her, his obedient skis exactly parallel, 

293 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

lifted her and brushed the snow from her furs and her 
nose. She was laughing. 

Falling, getting up, learning at last the zest of coast- 
ing and of handling those gigantic skates on level stretches, 
she accompanied him from hill to hill, through fences, 
skirting thickets, till they reached a hollow at the heart 
of a farm where a brooklet led into deeper woods. The 
afternoon was passing ; the swarthy clouds marched 
grimly from the east ; but the low sun red-lettered the 
day. The country-bred Carl showed her how thin sheets 
of ice formed on the bank of the stream and jutted out 
like shelves in an elfin cupboard, delicate and curious- 
edged as Venetian glass ; and how, through an opening 
in the ice, she could spy upon a secret world of clear water, 
not dead from winter, but alive with piratical black beetles 
over sand of exquisitely pale grey, like Lilliputian sub- 
marines in a fairy sea. 

A rabbit hopped away among the trees beyond them, 
and Carl, following its trail, read to her the forest hiero- 
glyphics tracks of rabbit and chipmunk and crown, of 
field-mouse and house-cat, in the snow-paved city of night 
animals with its edifices of twiggy underbrush. 

The setting sun was overclouded, now ; the air sharp ; 
the grove uneasily quiet. Branches, contracting in the 
returning cold, ticked like a solemn clock of the wood- 
land ; and about them slunk the homeless mysteries that, 
at twilight, revisit even the tiniest forest, to wail of the 
perished wilderness. 

" I know there's Indians sneaking along in there," she 
whispered, " and wolves and outlaws ; and maybe a 
Hudson Bay factor coming, in a red coat." 

" And maybe a mounted policeman and a lost girl/' 

" Saying which/' remarked Ruth, " the brave young 
man undid his pack and disclosed to the admiring eyes 
of the hungry lass meaning me, especially the ' hungry ' 
the wonders of his pack, which she had been covertly 
eyeing amid all the perils of the afternoon." 

Carl did not know it, but all his life he had been seek- 
ing a girl who would, without apologetic explanation, 

294 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

begin a story with herself and him for its characters. He 
instantly continued her tale : 

" And from the pack the brave young hero, whose new 
Norfolk jacket she admired such a lot as I said, from 
the pack he pulled two clammy, blue, hard-boiled eggs 
and a thermos bottle filled with tea into which I've probably 
forgotten to put any sugar/' 

" And then she stabbed him and went swiftly home ! " 
Ruth concluded the narration. ... " Don't be frivolous 
about food. Just one hard-boiled egg and you perish ! 
None of these gentle ' convenient ' shoe-box picnics for 
me. Of course I ought to pretend that I have a bird- 
like appetite, but as a matter of fact I could devour an 
English mutton-chop, four kidneys, and two hot sausages, 
and then some plum-pudding and a box of chocolates, 
assorted." 

" If this were a story/' said Carl, knocking the crusted 
snow from dead branches and dragging them toward 
the centre of a small clearing, " the young hero from 
Joralemon would now remind the city gal that 'tis only 
among God's free hills that you can get an appetite, and 
then the author would say, ' Nothing had ever tasted so 
good as those trout, yanked from the brook and cooked 
to a turn on the sizzling coals. She looked at the stalwart 
young man, so skilfully frying the flapjacks, and con- 
trasted him with the effeminate fops she had met on 
Fifth Avenue/ . . . But meanwhile, squaw, you'd better 
tear some good dry twigs off this bush for kindling." 

Gathering twigs while Carl scrabbled among the roots 
for dry leaves, Ruth went on again with their story : 
" ' Yes/ said the fair maid o' the wilds, obediently, bend- 
ing her poor, patient back at the cruel behest of the stern 
man of granite. . . . May I put something into the 
story which will politely indicate how much the unfor- 
tunate lady appreciates this heavenly snow-place in 
contrast to the beastly city, even though she is so 
abominably treated ? " 

" Yes, but as I warned you, nothing about the effect 
of out-o'-doors on the appetite. All you've got to do is 

295 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

to watch a city broker eat fourteen pounds of steak, three 
pots of coffee, and four black cigars at a Broadway restau- 
rant to realize that the effeminate city man occasionally 
gets up quite some appetite, too ! " 

" My dear," she wailed, " aside from the vulgarity of 
the thing you know that no one ever admits to a real 
interest in food I am so hungry that if there is any more 
mention of eating I shall go off in a corner and howl. 
You know how those adorable German Christmas stories 
always begin : ' Es war Weinachtsabend. Tiefer Schnee 
lag am Boden. Durch das Wald ham ein armes Mddchen 
das weinte bitterlich.' The reason why she weinted bitter- 
lich was because her soul was hurt at being kept out of 
the secret of the beautiful, beautiful food that was hidden 
in the hero's pack. Now let's have no more imaginary 
menus. Let's discuss Nijinsky and the musical asses till 
you are ready " 

" All ready now ! " he proclaimed, kneeling by the 
pyramid of leaves, twigs, and sticks he had been erecting. 
He lit a match and kindled a leaf. Fire ran through the 
mass and rosy light brightened the darkened snow. " By 
the way," he said, as with cold fingers he pulled at the 
straps of his pack, "I'm beginning to be afraid that we'll 
be a lot later getting home than we expected." 

" Well, I suppose I'll go to sleep on the train, and wake 
up at every station and wail and make you uncomfortable, 
and Mason will be grieved and disapproving when I get 
home late, but just now I don't care. I don't ! It's la 
belle aventure ! Carl, do you realize that never in my 
twenty-four (almost twenty-five now !) never in all these 
years have I been out like this in the wilds, in the dark, 
not even with Phil ? And yet I don't feel afraid just 
terribly happy." 

" You do trust me, don't you ? " 

" You know I do. ... Yet when I realize that I 
really don't know you at all ! " 

He had brought out, from the pack, granite-ware 
plates and cups, a stew-pan and a coffee-pot, a ruddied 
paper of meat and a can of peas, rolls, Johnny-cake, maple 

296 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

syrup, a screw-top bottle of cream, pasteboard boxes of 
salt and pepper and sugar. Lamb chops, coiled in the 
covered stew-pan, loudly broiled in their own fat, and to 
them the peas, heated in their can, were added when the 
coffee began to foam. He dragged a large log to the side 
of the fire, and Ruth, there sitting, gorged shamelessly. 
Carl himself did not eat reticently. 

Light snow was falling now, driven by them on the 
rising wind. The fire, where hot coals had piled higher 
and higher, was a refuge in the midst of the darkness. 
Carl rolled up another log, for protection from the weather, 
and placed it at right angles to the first. 

" You were saying, at Mrs. Needham's, that we ought 
to have an old farm-house/' he remarked, while she 
snuggled before the fire, her back against a log, her round 
knees up under her chin, her arms clasping her legs. " Let's 
build one right here." 

Instantly she was living it. In the angle between the 
logs she laid out an outline of twigs, exclaiming : " Here 
is my room, with low ceiling and exposed rafters and a 
big open fireplace. Not a single touch of pale pink or 
rosebuds ! " 

" Then here's my room, with a work-bench and a bed 
nine feet long that I can lose myself in." 

" Then here outside my room," said Ruth, "I'm going 
to have a brick terrace, and all around it heliotrope grow- 
ing in pots on the brick wall." 

" Fin sorry, blessed, but you can't have a ter- 
race. Don't you realize that every brick would have 
to be carted two hundred miles through this wilder- 
ness ? " 

" I don't care. If you appreciated me you'd carry 
them on your back, if necessary." 

" Well, I'll think it over, but Oh, look here, I'm 

going to have a porch made out of fresh saplings, outside 
of my room, and it '11 overlook the hills, and it '11 have 
outdoor cots with olive-grey army blankets over them, 
and when you wake up in the morning you'll see the hills 
in the first sunlight." 

297 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Glorious ! I'll give up my terrace. Though I do 
think I was w'eedled into it." 

" Seriously, Ruth, wouldn't you like to have such a 
place, back in the wilderness ? " 

" Love it ! I'd be perfectly happy there. At least for 
a while. I wouldn't care if I never saw another aigrette 
or a fat Rhine maiden singing in thirty sharps." 

" Listen how would this be for a site ? (Let me stick 
some more wood there on your side of the fire.) Once 
when I was up in the high Sierras, in California, I found 
a wooded bluff you looked a thousand feet straight 
down to a clear lake, green as mint-sauce pretty nearly, 
not a wrinkle on it. There wasn't a sound anywhere except 
when the leaves rustled. Then on the other side you 
looked way up to a peak covered with snow, and a big 
eagle sailing overhead sailing and sailing, hour after 
hour. And you could smell the pine needles and sit 
there and look way off Would you like it ? " 

" Oh, I can't tell you how much ! " 

" Have to go there some day." 

" When you're president of the VanZile Company you 
must give me a Touricar to go in, and perhaps I shall 
let you go, too." 

" Right ! I'll be chauffeur and cook and everything." 
Quietly exultant at her sweet, unworded promise of liking, 
he hastily said, to cover that thrill, " Even a poor old low- 
brow mechanic like me does get a kind of poetic fervour 
out of a view like that." 

" But you aren't a low-brow mechanic. You make me 
so dreadfully weary when you're mock-humble. As a 
matter of fact, you're a famous man and I'm a poor little 
street waif. For instance, the way you talk about social- 
ism when you get interested and let yourself go. Really 
excited. I'd always thought that aviators and other sorts 
of heroes were such stolid dubs." 

" Gee ! it 'd be natural enough if I did like to talk. 
Imagine the training in being with the English super- 
intendent at the mine, that I was telling you about, and 
hearing Frazer lecture, and knowing Tony Bean with his 

298 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

South-American interests, and most of all, of course, 

knowing Forrest Haviland. If I had any pep in me 

Course I'm terribly slangy, I suppose, but I couldn't help 
wading right in and wanting to talk to everybody about 
everything." 

" Yes. Yes. Of course I'm abominably slangy, too. 
I wonder if every one isn't except in books. . . . We've 
left our house a little unfinished, Carl." 

"I'm afraid we'll have to, blessed. We'll have to be 
going. It's past seven, now ; and we must be sure to 
catch the 8.09 and get back to town about nine." 

" I can't tell you how sorry I am we must leave our 
house in the wilds." 

" You really have enjoyed it ? " He was cleaning the 
last of the dishes with snow, and packing them away. 
" Do you know," he said, cautiously, " I always used to 
feel that a girl you say you aren't in society, but I mean 
a girl like you I used to think it was impossible to play 
with such a girl unless a man was rich, which I excessively 
am not, with my little money tied up in the Touricar. 
Yet here we have an all-day party, and it costs less than 
three really good seats at the theatre." 

" I know. Phil is always saying that he is too poor to 
have a good time, and yet his grandmother left him fifteen 
thousand dollars capital in his own right, besides his 
allowance from his father and his salary from the law 
firm ; and he infuriates me sometimes aside from the 
tactlessness of the thing by quite plainly suggesting 
that I'm so empty-headed that I won't enjoy going out 
with him unless he spends a lot of money and makes 
waiters obsequious. There are lots of my friends who 
think that way, both the girls and the men. They never 
seem to realize that if they were just human beings, as 
you and I have been to-day, and not hide-bound members 
of the dance-and-tea league, they could beat that beastly 
artificial old city. . . . Phil once told me that no man 
mind you, no one at all could possibly marry on less 
than fifteen thousand dollars a year. Simply proved it 
beyond a question." 

299 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" That lets me out." 

" Phil said that no one could possibly live on the West 
Side of course the fact that he and I are both living on 
the West Side doesn't count and the cheapest good apart- 
ments near Fifth Avenue cost four thousand dollars a 
year. And then one can't possibly get along with less 
than two cars and four maids and a chauffeur. Can't be 
done ! " 

" He's right. Fawncy ! Only three maids. Might as 
well be dead." 

The pack was ready, now ; he was swinging it to his 
back and preparing to stamp out the fire. But he dropped 
his burden and faced her in the low firelight. " Ruth, 
you won't make up your mind to marry Phil till you're 
sure, will you ? You'll play with me awhile, won't you ? 
Can't we explore a few more " 

She laughed nervously, trying to look at him. " As I 
said, Phil won't condescend to consider poor me till he 
has his fifteen thousand dollars a year, and that won't be 
for some time, I think, considering he is too well-bred 
to work hard." 

" But seriously, you will Oh, I don't know how 

to put it. You will let me be your playmate, even as 
much as Phil is, while we're still " 

" Carl, I've never played as much with anyone as with 
you. You make most of the men I know seem very un- 
enterprising. It frightens me. Perhaps I oughtn't to 
let you jump the fence so easily." 

" You won't let Phil lock you up for a while ? " 

" No. . . . Mustn't we be going ? " 

" Thank you for letting the outlaw come to your party. 
The fire 's out. Come." 

With the quenching of the fire they were left in smoth- 
ering darkness. "Where do we go? " she worried. "I 
feel completely lost. I can't make out a thing. I feel 
so lost and so blind, after looking at the fire." 

Her voice betrayed that he was suddenly a stranger 
to her. 

With hasty assurance he said : " Sit tight ! See. We 

300 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

head for that tall oak, up the slope, then through the 
clearing, keeping to the right. You'll be able to see the 
oak as soon as you get the firelight out of your eyes. Re- 
member I used to hunt every fall, as a kid, and come back 
through the dark. Don't worry." 

" I can just make out the tree now/ 1 

" Right. Now for it." 

" Let me carry my skis." 

" No, you just watch your feet." His voice was pleasant, 
quiet, not too intimate. " Don't try to guide yourself 
by your eyes. Let your feet find the safe ground. Your 
eyes will fool you in the dark." 

It was a hard pull, the way back. Encumbered with 
pack and two pairs of skis, which they dared not use in 
the darkness, he could not give her a helping hand. The 
snow was still falling, not very thick nor savagely wind- 
borne, yet stinging their eyes as they crossed open moors 
and the wind leaped at them. Once Ruth slipped, on a 
rock or a chunk of ice, and came down with an infuri- 
ating jolt. Before he could drop the skis she struggled up 
and said, dryly : 

" Yes, it did hurt, and I know you're sorry, and there's 
nothing you can do." 

Carl grinned and kept silence, though with one hand, 
as soon as he could get it free from the elusive skis, he 
lightly patted her shoulder. 

She was almost staggering, so cold was she and so tired, 
and so heavy was the snow caked on her boots, when 
they came to a sharp rise, down which shone the radiance 
of an incandescent light. 

" Road 's right up there, blessed," he cried, cheerily. 

" Oh, I can't Yes, I will " 

He dropped the skis, put one arm about her shoulders 
and one about her knees, and almost before she had finished 
crying, " Oh no, please don't carry me ! " he was half-way 
up the slope. He set her down safe by the road. 

They caught the 8.09 train with two minutes to spare. 
Its warmth and the dingy softness of the plush seats 
seemed palatial. 

301 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Ruth rubbed her cold hands with a smile deprecating, 
intimate ; and her shoulder drooped toward him. Her 
whole being seemed turned toward him. He cuddled 
her right hand within his, murmuring : " See, my hand 's 
a house where yours can keep warm/' Her fingers curled 
tight and rested there contentedly. Like a drowsy kitten 
she looked down at their two hands. " A little brown 
house ! " she said. 



302 



CH APTE R XXXIV 

WHILE scientists seek germs that shall change the 
world, while war comes or winter takes earth cap- 
tive, even while love visibly flowers, a power, mighty 
as any of these, lashes its human pack-train on the dusty 
road to futility. The Day's Work is the name of that 
power. 

All these days of first love Carl had the office for lower- 
ing background. The warm trust of Ruth's hand on a 
Saturday did not make plans for the Touricar any the 
less pressing on a Monday. The tyranny of nine to five 
is stronger, more insistent, in every department of life, 
than the most officious oligarchy. Inspectors can be 
bribed, judges softened, and recruiting sergeants evaded, 
but only the grace of God will turn 3.30 into 5.30. And 
Mr. Ericson of the Touricar Company, a not vastly impor- 
tant employee of the mothering VanZile Corporation, was 
not entitled to go home at 3.30, as a really rational man 
would have done when the sun gold-misted the windows 
and suggested skating. 

No longer was business essentially an adventure to Carl. 
Doubtless he would have given it up and have gone to 
Palm Beach to fly a hydro for Bagby, Jr., had there been 
no Ruth. Bagby wrote that he was coming North, to 
prepare for the spring's experiments ; wouldn't Carl con- 
sider joining him ? 

Carl was now, between his salary and his investment in 
the Touricar Company, making about four thousand dollars 
a year, and saving nearly half of it, against the inevitable 
next change in his life, whatever that should be. He 
would probably climb to ten thousand dollars in five years. 
The Touricar was promising success. Several had been 
ordered at the Automobile Show ; the Chicago, Boston, 
and Philadelphia agents of the company reported interest. 
For no particular reason, apparently, Milwaukee had 
taken them up first ; three Milwaukee people had ordered 
cars. . . . An artist was making posters with beautiful 
gipsies and a Touricar and tourists whose countenances 

303 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

showed lively appreciation of the efforts of the kind Touri- 
car manufacturers to please and benefit them. But the 
head salesman of the company laughed st Carl when 
he suggested that the Touricar might not only bring them 
money, but really take people off to a larger freedom : 
" I don't care a hang where they go with the thing as 
long as they pay for it. You can't be an idealist and 
make money. You make the money and then you can 
have all the ideals you want to, and give away some hos- 
pitals and libraries/ 1 

They walked and talked, Ruth and Carl. They threaded 
the Sunday-afternoon throng on upper Broadway, where 
on every clear Sunday all the apartment-dwellers (if 
they have remembered to have their trousers pressed or 
their gloves cleaned in preparation) promenade like 
stupid black-and-white peacocks past uninteresting apart- 
ment-houses and uninspiring upper Broadway shops, while 
two blocks away glorious Riverside Drive, with its pan- 
orama of Hudson and hills and billowing clouds, its trees 
and secret walks and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, 
is nearly deserted. Together they scorned the glossy 
well-to-do merchant in his newly-ironed top-hat, and were 
thus drawn together. It is written that loving the same 
cause makes honest friendship; but hating the same 
people makes alliances so delightful that one can sit up 
late at night talking. 

At the opening of the flying season Carl took her to the 
Hampstead Plains Aviation Field, and, hearing his explana- 
tions, she at last comprehended emotionally that he really 
was an aviator. 

They tramped through Staten Island ; they had tea 
at the Manhattan. Carl dined with Ruth and her father ; 
once he took her brother, Mason, to lunch at the Aero 
Club. 

Ruth was ill in March ; not with a mysterious and 
romantic malady, but with influenza, which, she wrote 
Carl, made her hate the human race, New York, charity, and 
Shakespeare. She could not decide whether to go to Europe, 

304 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

or to die in a swoon and be buried under a mossy head- 
stone. 

He answered that he would go abroad for her ; and 
.every day she received tokens bearing New York post- 
marks, yet obviously coming from foreign parts : a souve- 
nir card from the Piraeus, stating that Carl was " visiting 
cousin T. Demetrieff Philopopudopulos, and we are 
enjoying our drives so much. Dem. sends his love ; wish 
you could be with us " ; an absurd string of beads from 
Port Said and a box of Syrian sweets ; a Hindu puzzle 
guaranteed to amuse victims of influenza, and gold-fabric 
slippers of China ; with long letters nonchalantly relating 
encounters with outlaws and wrecks and new varieties of 
disease. 

He called on her before her nose had quite lost the 
'flue or her temper the badness. 

Phil Dunleavy was there, lofty and cultured in evening 
clothes, apparently not eager to go. He stayed till ten 
minutes to ten, and, by his manner of cold surprise when 
Carl tried to influence the conversation, was able to keep 
it to the Kreisler violin recitals, the architecture of St. 
John the Divine's, and Whitney's polo, while Carl tried 
not to look sulky, and manoeuvred to get out the excellent 
things he was prepared to say on other top ; cs ; not unlike 
the small boy who wants to interrupt whist-players and 
tell them about his new skates. When Phil was gone 
Ruth sighed and said, belligerently : 

" Poor Phil, he has to work so hard, and all the people 
at his office, even the firm, are just as common as they 
can be ; common as the children at my beastly old settle- 
ment-house.' 1 

" What do you mean by ' common ' ? " bristled Carl. 

" Not of our class." 

" What do you mean by ' our class ' ? " 

And the battle was set. 

Ruth refused to withdraw " common." Carl recalled 
Abraham Lincoln and Golden-Rule Jones and Walt Whit- 
man on the subject of the Common People, though as to 
what these sages had said he was vague. Ruth burst out : 

305 * 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Oh, you can talk all you like about theories, but just 
the same, in real life most people are common as dirt. 
And just about as admissible to Society. It's all very fine 
to be good to servants, but you would be the first to com- 
plain if I invited the cook up here." 

" Give her and her children education for three genera- 
tions - " 

She was perfectly unreasonable, and right in most of 
the things she said. He was perfectly unreasonable, and 
right in all of the things he said. Their argument was 
absurdly hot, and hurt them pathetically. It was diffi- 
cult, at first, for Carl to admit that he was at odds with 
his playmate. Surely this was a sham dissension, of 
which they would soon tire, which they would smilingly 
give up. Then, he was trying not to be too contentious, 
but was irritated into retorting. After fifteen minutes 
they were staring at each other as at intruding strangers, 
he remembering the fact that she was a result of city 
life ; she the fact that he wasn't a product of city life. 

And a fact which neither of them realized save sub- 
consciously, was in the background : Carl himself had come 
in a few years from Oscar Ericson's back yard to Ruth 
Winslow's library he had made the step naturally, as 
only an American could, but it was a step. 

She was loftily polite. "I'm afraid you can't quite 
understand what the niceties of life mean to people like 
Phil. I'm sorry he won't give them up to the first truck- 
driver he meets, but I'm afraid he won't, and occasionally 
it's necessary to face facts ! Niceties of the kind he has 



" Nice ! " 

" Really - " Her heavy eyebrows arched in a frown. 

" If you're going to get ' nice ' on me, of course you'll 
have to be condescending, and that's one thing I won't 
permit." 

" I'm afraid you'll find that one has to permit a great 
many things. Sometimes, apparently, I must permit 
great rudeness." 

" Have I been rude ? Have - " 
306 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

"Yes. Very." 

He could endure no more. " Goodnight ! " he growled, 
and was gone. 

He was frightened to find himself out of the house ; 
the door closed between them ; no going back without 
ringing the bell. He couldn't go back. He walked a 
block, slow, incredulous. He stood hesitant before the 
nearest corner drug-store, shivering in the March wind, 
wondering if he dared go into the store and telephone her. 
He was willing to concede anything. He planned apt 
phrases to use. Surely everything would be made right 
if he could only speak to her. He pictured himself cross- 
ing the drug-store floor, entering the telephone-booth, 
putting five cents in the slot. He stared at the red-and- 
green globes in the druggist's window ; inspected a dis- 
play of soaps, and recollected the fact that for a week 
now he had failed to take home any shaving-soap and 
had had to use ordinary hand-soap. " Golly ! I must go 
in and get a shaving-stick. No, darn it ! I haven't got 
enough money with me. I must try to remember to get 
some to-morrow." He rebuked himself for thinking of 
soap when love lay dying. " But I must remember to get 
that soap, just the same ! " So grotesque is man, the 
slave and angel, for while he was sick with the desire to go 
back to the one comrade, he sharply wondered if he was 
not merely acting all this agony. He went into the 
store. But he did not telephone to Ruth. There was no 
sufficiently convincing reason for calling her up. He 
bought a silly ice-cream soda, and talked to the man 
behind the counter as he drank it. All the while a tragic 
Ruth stood before him, blaming him for he knew not what. 

He reluctantly went on, regretting every step that took 
him from her. But as he reached the next corner his 
shoulder snapped back into defiant straightness, he thrust 
his hands into the side pockets of his top-coat, and strode 
away, feeling that he had shaken off a burden of " nice- 
ness." He had, willy-nilly, recovered his freedom. He 
could go anywhere, now ; mingle with any sort of people ; 
be common and comfortable. He didn't have to take 

307 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

dancing lessons or fear the results of losing his job, or of 
being robbed of his interests in the Touricar. He glanced 
interestedly at a pretty girl ; recklessly went into a cigar- 
store and bought a fifteen-cent cigar. He was free again. 

As he marched on, however, his defiance began to ooze 
away. He went over every word Ruth or he had said, 
and when he reached his room he sat deep in an arm- 
chair, like a hurt animal crouching, his coat still on, his 
felt hat over his eyes, his tie a trifle disarranged, his legs 
straight out before him, his hands in his trousers pockets, 
while he disconsolately contemplated a photograph of 
Forrest Haviland in full-dress uniform that stood on the 
low bureau among tangled ties, stray cigarettes, a bronze 
aviation medal, cuff-buttons, and a haberdasher's round 
package of new collars. His gaze was steady and gloomy. 
He was dramatizing himself as hero in a melodrama. He 
did not know how the play would end. 

But his dramatization of himself did not indicate that 
he was not in earnest. 

Forrest's portrait suggested to him, as it had before, 
that he had no picture of Ruth, that he wanted one. 
Next time he saw her he would ask her .... Then 
he remembered. 

He took out his new cigar, turned it over and over 
gloweringly, and chewed it without lighting it, the right 
corner of his mouth vicious in appearance. But his tone 
was plaintive as he mourned, " How did it all start, any- 
way ? " 

He drew off his top-coat and shoes, and put on his 
shabby though once expensive slippers. Slowly. He lay 
on his bed. He certainly did not intend to go to sleep but 
he awoke at 2 a. in., dressed, the light burning, his windows 
closed, feeling sweaty and hot and dirty and dry-mouthed 
a victim of all the woes since tall Troy burned. He 
chucked off his clothes. 

When he awoke in the morning he lay as usual, greeting 
a shining new day, till he realized that it was not a shining 
day ; it was an ominous day ; everything was wrong. 
That something had happened really had was a fact 

308 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

that sternly patrolled his room. His chief reaction was 
not repentance nor dramatic interest, but a vexed long- 
ing to unwish the whole affair. " Hang it ! " he groaned. 

Already he was eager to make peace. He sympathized 
with Ruth. " Poor kid ! it was rotten to row with her, 
her completely all in with the 'flue. 

At three in the afternoon he telephoned to her house. 
" Miss Ruth," he was informed, " was asleep ; she was not 
very well/' 

Would the maid please ask Miss Ruth to ring up Mr. 
Ericson when she woke ? 

Certainly the maid would. 

But by bedtime Ruth had not telephoned. Self-respect 
would not let him ring up again, for days, and Ruth never 
called him. 

He went about alternately resentful at her stubborn- 
ness and seeing himself as a lout cast out of heaven. Then 
he saw her at a distance, on the platform of the subway 
station at Seventy-second Street. She was with Phil 
Dunleavy. She looked well, she was talking gaily, ob- 
livious of old sorrows, certainly not in need of Carl Eric- 
son. 

That was the end, he knew. He watched them take a 
train ; stood there alone, due at a meeting of the Aero- 
nautical Society, but suddenly not wishing to go, not 
wishing to go anywhere nor do anything, friendless, bored, 
driftwood in the city. 

So easily had the Hawk swooped down into her life, 
coming by chance, but glad to remain. So easily had he 
been driven away. 

For three days he planned in a headachy way to make 
an end of his job and join Bagby, Jr., in his hydroaero- 
plane experiments. He pictured the crowd that would 
worship him. He told himself stories unhappy and long 
about the renewed companionship of Ruth and Phil. 
He was sure that he, the stranger, had been a fool to 
imagine that he could ever displace Phil. On the third 
afternoon, suddenly, apparently without cause, he bolted 

309 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

from the office, and at a public telephone-booth he called 
Ruth. It was she who answered the telephone. 

" May I come up to-night ? " he said, urgently. 

" Yes," she said. That was all. 

When he saw her, she hesitated, smiled shamefacedly, and 
confessed that she had wanted to telephone to him. 

Together, like a stage chorus, they contested : 

" I was grouchy " 

" I was beastly " 

"I'm honestly sorry " 

" '11 you forgive " 

" What was it all about ? " 

" Really, I do not know ! " 

" I agree with lots of the things you " 

" No, I agree with you, but just at the time you 
know." 

Her lively, defensive eyes were tender. He put his 
arm lightly about her shoulders lightly, but his finger- 
tips were sensitive to every thread of her thin bodice 
that seemed tissue as warmly living as the smooth shoulder 
beneath. She pressed her eyes against his coat, her 
coiled dark hair beneath his chin. A longing to cry like 
a boy, and to care for her like a man, made him reverent. 
The fear of Phil vanished. Intensely conscious though 
he was of her hair and its individual scent, he did not kiss 
it. She was sacred. 

She sprang from him, and at the piano hammered out 
a rattling waltz. It changed to gentler music, and under 
the shaded piano lamp they were silent, happy. He 
merely touched her hand, when he went, but he sang his 
way home, wanting to nod to every policeman. 

" I've found her again ; it isn't merely play, now ! " he 
kept repeating. " And I've learned something. I don't 
really know what it is, but it's as though I'd learned a 
new language. Gee 1 I'm happy ! " 



310 



CHAPTER XXXV 

ON an April Saturday morning Carl rose with a feel- 
ing of spring. He wanted to be off in the Connec- 
ticut hills, among the silvery-grey worm-fences, with larks 
rising on the breeze and pools a-ripple and yellow crocus- 
blossoms afire by the road, where towns white and sleepy 
woke to find the elms misted with young green. Would 
there be any crocuses out as yet ? That was the only 
question worth solving in the world, save the riddle of 
Ruth's heart. The staid brownstone houses of the New 
York streets displayed few crocuses and fewer larks, yet 
over them to-day was the bloom of romance. Carl walked 
down to the automobile district past Central Park, sniffing 
wistfully at the damp grass, pale green amid old grey ; 
marvelling how a bare patch of brown earth without a 
single blade of grass, could smell so stirringly of coming 
spring. A girl on Broadway was selling wild violets, white 
and purple, and in front of wretched old houses down 
a side-street, in the negro district, a darky in a tan derby 
and a scarlet tie was carolling : 

" Mandy, in de spring 
De mocking-birds do sing, 
An* de flowers am so sweet along de ol' bayou- " 

Above the darky's head, elevated trains roared on the 
Fifty-third Street trestle, and up Broadway streaked a 
stripped motor-car, all steel chassis and grease-mottled 
board seat and lurid odour of petrol. But sparrows 
splashed in the pools of sunshine ; in a lull the darky's 
voice came again, chanting passionately, "In de spring, 
spring, spring 1 " and Carl clamoured: "I've got to get out 
to-day. Terrible glad it's a half-holiday. Wonder if I 
dare telephone to Ruth ? " 

At a quarter to three they were rollicking down the 
" smart side " of Fifth Avenue. One could see that they 
were playmates, by her dancing steps and his absorption 
in her. He bent a little toward her, quick to laugh with 
her. 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Ruth was in a frock of flowered taffeta. " I won't wait 
till Easter to show off my spring clothes. It isn't done 
any more," she said. " It's as stupid as Bobby's not dar- 
ing to wear a straw hat one single day after September 
fifteenth. Is an aviator brave enough to wear his after 
the fifteenth ? . . . Think ! I didn't know you then last 
September. I can't understand it." 

" But I knew you, blessed, because I was sure spring 
was coming again, and that distinctly implied Ruth." 

" Of course it did. You've guessed my secret. I'm 
the Spirit of Spring. Last Wednesday, when I lost my 

marquise ring, I was the spirit of vitriol, but now 

I'm a poet. I've thought it all out and decided that I 
shall be the American Sappho. At any moment I am 
quite likely to rush madly across the pavement and sit 
down on the curb and indite several stanzas on the back 
of a visiting-card, while the crowd galumps around me in 
an awed ring. ... I feel like kidnapping you and making 
you take me aeroplaning, but I'll compromise. You're 
to buy me a book and take me down to the Maison fipinay 
for tea, and read me poetry while I yearn over the window- 
boxes and try to look like Nicollette. Buy me a book 
with spring in it, and a princess, and a sky like this 
corn-flower blue with bunny-rabbit clouds." 

At least a few in the Avenue's flower-garden of pretty 
debutantes in pairs and young university men with ex- 
pensive leather-laced tan boots were echoing Ruth in 
gay, new clothes. 

" I wonder who they all are ; they look like an aristoc- 
racy, useless but made of the very best materials," said 
Carl. 

" They're like maids of honour and young knights, dis- 
guised in modern costumes ! They're charming ! " 

" Charmingly useless," insisted our revolutionary, but 
he did not sound earnest. It was too great a day for 
earnestness about anything less great than joy and life ; 
a day for shameless luxuriating in the sun, and for wear- 
ing bright things. In shop windows with curtains of 
fluted silk were silver things and jade ; satin gowns and 

312 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

shoe-buckles of rhinestones. The sleek motor-cars whisked 
by in an incessant line ; the traffic policemen nodded 
familiarly to hansom-drivers ; pools on the asphalt mir- 
rored the delicate sky, and at every corner the breeze 
tasted of spring. 

Carl bought for her Yeats's poems, tucked it under his 
arm, and they trotted off. In Madison Square they saw 
a gallant and courtly old man with military shoulders and 
pink cheeks, a debonair grey moustache, and a smile of 
unquenchable youth, greeting April with a narcissus in 
his buttonhole. He was feeding the sparrows with crumbs 
and smiled to see one of them fly off, carrying a long 
wisp of hay, bustling away to build for himself and his 
sparrow bride a bungalow in the foot-hills of the Metropoli- 
tan Tower. 

" I love that old man ! " exclaimed Ruth. " I do wish 
we could pick him up and take him with us. I dare you 
to go over and say, ' I prithee, sir, of thy good will come 
thou forthfaring with two vagabonds who do quest high 
and low the land of Nowhere/ Something like that. 
Go on, Carl, be brave. Pretend you're brave as an aviator. 
Perhaps he has a map of Arcadia. Go ask him/' 

" Afraid to. Besides, he might monopolize you/' 

" He'll go with us, without his knowing it, anyway. 
Isn't it strange how you know people, perfect strangers, 
from seeing them once, without even speaking to them ? You 
know them the rest of your life and play games with them/' 

The Maison fipinay you must quest long, but great is 
your reward if you find it. Here is no weak remembrance 
of a lost Paris, but a French-Canadian's desire to express 
what he believes Paris must be ; therefore a super-Paris, 
all in brown velvet and wicker tables, and at the back a 
long window edged with boxes red with geraniums, look- 
ing to a back-yard garden where rose-beds lead to a dancing- 
faun terminal in a shrine of ivy. 

They sipped grenadine, heavy essence of a thousand 
berries. They had the place to themselves, save for 
Tony the waiter, with his smile of benison ; and Carl read 
from Yeats. 

313 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

He had heard of Yeats at Plato, but never had he known 
crying curlew and misty mere and the fluttering wings 
of Love till now. 

His hand rested on her gloved hand. . . . Tony the 
waiter re-re-rearranged the serving-table. . . . When Ruth 
broke the spell with, " You aren't very reverent with per- 
fectly clean gloves," they chattered like blackbirds at sunset. 

Carl discovered that, being a New-Yorker, she knew 
part of it as intimately as though it were a village, and 
nothing about the rest. She had taught him Fifth 
Avenue ; told him the history of the invasion by shops, 
the social differences between East and West ; pointed 
out the pictures of friends in photographers' wall-cases. 
Now he taught her the various New Yorks he had dis- 
covered in lonely rambles. Together they explored 
Chelsea Village section, and the Oxford quadrangles of 
General Theological Seminary, where quiet meditation 
dwells in Tudor corridors ; upper Greenwich Village, the 
home of Italian tables d'hote, clerks, social-workers, and 
radical magazines, of alley rookeries and the ancient Jew- 
ish bury ing-ground ; lower Greenwich Village, where run- 
down American families with Italian lodgers live in streets 
named for kings, in wooden houses with gambrel roofs and 
colonial fanlights. From the same small-paned windows 
where frowzy Italian women stared down upon Ruth, 
Ruth's ancestors had leaned out to greet General George 
Washington. 

On an open wharf near Tenth Street they were be- 
spelled by April. The Woolworth Tower, to the south, 
was an immortal shaft of ivory and gold against an un- 
winking blue sky, challenging the castles and cathedrals 
of the Old World, and with its supreme art dignifying the 
commerce which built and uses it. The Hudson was 
lustrous with sun, and a sweet wind sang from unknown 
Jersey hills across the river. Moored to the wharf was 
a coal-barge, with a tiny dwelling-cabin at whose windows 
white curtains fluttered. Beside the cabin was a garden 
tended by the bargeman's comely white-browed wife ; a 
dozen daisies and geraniums in two starch-boxes. 

314 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Forging down the river a scarred tramp steamer, whose 
rusty sides the sun turned to damask rose, bobbed in the 
slight swell, heading for open sea, with the British flag 
a-flicker and men chanting as they cleared deck. 

" I wish we were going off with her maybe to Singa- 
pore or Nagasaki/' Carl said, slipping his arm through 
hers, as they balanced on the stringpiece of the wharf, 
sniffing like deer at the breeze, which for a moment seemed 
to bear, from distant bourgeoning woods, a shadowy hint 
of burning leaves the perfume of spring and autumn, 
the eternal wander-call. 

" Yes ! " Ruth mused ; " and moonlight in Java, and 
the Himalayas on the horizon, and the Vale of Cash- 
mir." 

" But I'm glad we have this. Blessed, it's a day planned 
for lovers like us." 

" Carl ! " 

" Yes. Lovers. Courting. In spring. Like all lovers." 

" Really, Carl, even spring doesn't quite let me forget 
the convenances are home waiting." 

" We're not lovers ? " 

" No, we " 

" Yet you enjoy to-day, don't you ? " 

" Yes, but " 

" And you'd rather be loafing on a dirty wharf, looking 
at a tramp steamer, than taking tea at the Plaza ? " 

" Yes, just now, perhaps " 

" And you're protesting because you feel it's proper 

" It " 

" And you really trust me so much that you're having 
difficulty in seeming alarmed ? " 

Really " 

" And you'd rather play around with me than any of 
the Skull and Bones or Hasty Pudding men you know ? 
Or foreign diplomats with spade beards ? " 

" At least they wouldn't " 

" Oh yes they would, if you'd let them, which you 
wouldn't. ... So, to sum up, then, we are lovers and it's 

315 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

spring and you're glad of it, and as soon as you get used 
to it you'll be glad I'm so frank. Won't you ? " 

" I will not be bullied, Carl ! You'll be having me mar- 
ried to you before I can scream for help, ii I don't start 
at once." 

" Probably." 

" Indeed you will not ! I haven't the slightest intention 
of letting you get away with being masterful." 

" Yes, I know, blessed ; these masterful people bore 
me, too. But aren't we modern enough so we can dis- 
cuss frankly the question of whether I'd better propose 
to you, some day ? " 

" But, boy, what makes you suppose that I have any 
information on the subject ? That I've ever thought of 
it? " 

" I credit you with having a reasonable knowledge that 
there are such things as marriage." 

" Yes, but Oh, I'm very confused. You've bul- 
lied me into such a defensive position that my instinct is 
to deny everything. If you turned on me suddenly and 
accused me of wearing gloves I'd indignantly deny it." 

" Meantime, not to change the subject, I'd better be 
planning and watching for a suitable day for proposing, 
don't you think ? Consider it. Here's this young Eric- 
son some sort of a clerk, I believe no, don't think he's 

a university man You know ; discuss it clearly. 

Think it might be better to propose to-day ? I ask your 
advice as a woman." 

" Oh, Carl dear, I think not to-day. I'm sorry, but I 
really don't think so." 

" But some time, perhaps ? " 

" Some time perhaps ! " Then she fled from him and 
from the subject. 

They talked, after that, only of the sailors that loafed 
on West Street, but in their voices was content. 

They crossed the city, and on Brooklyn Bridge watched 
the suburbanites going home, crowding surface-car and 
elevated. From their perch on the giant spider's web of 
steel, they saw the Long Island Sound steamers below 

316 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

them, passing through a maelstrom of light on waves 
that trembled like quicksilver. 

They found a small Italian restaurant, free of local-colour 
hounds and what Carl called " hobohemians," and dis- 
covered fritto misto and Chianti and zabaglione a pale- 
brown custard flavoured like honey and served in tall, thin, 
curving glasses while the fat proprietress, in a red shawl 
and a large brooch, came to ask them, " E very t' ing all- 
aright, eh ? " Carl insisted that Walter MacMonnies, the 
aviator, had once tried out a motor that was exactly like 
her, including the Italian accent. There was simple and 
complete bliss for them in the dingy pme-and-plaster 
room, adorned with fly-specked calendars and pictures of 
Victor Emmanuel and President McKinley, copies of the 
Bolletino Delia Sera and large vinegar bottles. 

The theatre was their destination, but they first loitered 
up Broadway, shamelessly stopping to stare at shop 
windows, pretending to be Joe the shoe-clerk and Becky 
the cashier furnishing a Bronx flat. Whether it was any- 
thing but a game to Ruth will never be known ; but to 
Carl there was a hidden high excitement in planning a 
flower-box for the fire-escape. 

Apropos of nothing, she said, as they touched elbows 
with the sweet hear ting crowd : " You were right. I'm 
sorry I ever felt superior to what I called ' common peo- 
ple/ People ! I love them all. It's Come, we 

must hurry. I hate to miss that one perfect second when 
the orchestra is quiet and the lights wink at you and the 
curtain 's going up.'' 

During the second act of the play, when the heroine 
awoke to love, Carl's hand found hers. 

And it must have been that night, when standing be- 
tween the inner and outer doors of her house, Carl put 
his arms about her, kissed her hair, timidly kissed her 
sweet, cold cheek, and cried, " Bless you, dear." But for 
some reason, he does not remember when he did first kiss 
her, though he had looked forward to that miracle for 
weeks. He does not understand the reason ; but there 
is the fact. Her kisses were big things to him, yet pos- 

317 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

sibly there were larger psychological changes which occulted 
everything else, at first. But it must have been on that 
night that he first kissed her. For certainly it was when 
he called on her a week later that he kissed her for the 
second time. 

They had been animated but decorous, that evening a 
week later. He had tried to play an improvisation called 
" The Battle of San Juan Hill/' with a knowledge of the 
piano limited to the fact that if you struck alternate keys 
at the same time, there appeared not to be a discord. 

" I must go now/' he said, slowly, as though the bald 
words had a higher significance. She tried to look at 
him, and could not. His arms circled her, with frightened 
happiness. She tilted back her head, and there was the 
ever-new surprise of blue irises under dark brows. Up- 
lifted wonder her eyes spoke. His head drooped till he 
kissed her lips. The two bodies clamoured for each other. 
But she unwound his arms, crying, " No, no, no ! " 

He was enfolded by a sensation that they had instantly 
changed from friendly strangers to intimate lovers, as 
she said : "I don't understand it, Carl. I've never let 
a man kiss me like that. Oh, I suppose I've flirted, like 
most girls, and been kissed sketchily at silly dances. But 

this Oh, Carl, Carl dear, don't ever kiss me again 

till oh, not till I know. Why, I'm scarcely acquainted 
with you ! I do know how dear you are, but it appals 
me when I think of how little background you have for 
me. Dear, I don't want to be sordid and spoil this moment, 
but I do know that when you're gone I'll be a coward and 
remember that there are families and things, and want to 
wait till I know how they like you, at the very least. Good 
night, and I " 

" Good night, dear blessed. I know/ 1 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

THERE were, as Ruth had remarked, families. 
When Carl was formally invited to dine at the 
Winslows', on a night late in April, his only anxiety was 
as to the condition of his dinner-coat. He arrived in a 
state of easy briskness, planning apt and sensible re- 
marks about the business situation for Mason and Mr. 
Winslow. As the maid opened the door Carl was wondering 
if he would be able to touch Ruth's hand under the table. 
He had an anticipatory fondness for all of the small friendly 
family group which was about to receive him. 

And he was cast into a den of strangers, most of them 
comprised in the one electric person of Aunt Emma True- 
gate Winslow. 

Aunt Emma Truegate Winslow was the general-com- 
manding in whatsoever group she was placed by Provi- 
dence (with which she had strong influence). At a White 
House reception she would pleasantly but firmly have 
sent the President about his business, and have taken his 
place in the receiving line. Just now she sat in a pre- 
historic S chair, near the centre of the drawing-room, 
pumping out of Phil Dunleavy most of the facts about 
his chiefs' private lives. 

Aunt Emma had the soul of a six-foot dowager duchess, 
and should have had an eagle nose and a white pompa- 
dour. Actually she was of medium height, with a not 
unduly maternal bosom, a broad, commonplace face, 
hair the colour of faded grass, a blunt nose with slightly 
enlarged pores, and thin lips that seemed to be a straight 
line when seen from in front, but, seen in profile, puffed 
out like a fish's. She had a habit of nodding intelligently 
even when she was not listening, and another habit of 
rubbing her left knuckles with the fingers of her right hand. 
Not imposing in appearance was Aunt Emma Truegate 
Winslow, but she was born to discipline a court. 

An impeccable widow was she, speaking with a broad 
A, and dressed exquisitely in a black satin evening gown. 

By such simple-hearted traits as being always right 

319 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

about unimportant matters and idealistically wrong about 
important matters, politely intruding into everything, 
being earnest about the morality of the poor and auction 
bridge and the chaperonage of nice girls, possessing a 
working knowledge of Wagner and Rodin, wearing fifteen- 
dollar corsets, and believing on her bended knees that 
the Truegates and Winslows were the noblest families 
in the Social Register, Aunt Emma Truegate Winslow 
had persuaded the whole world, including even her near- 
English butler, that she was a superior woman. Family 
tradition said that she had only to raise a finger to get 
into really smart society. Upon the death of Ruth's 
mother, Aunt Emma had taken it as one of her duties, 
along with symphony concerts and committees, to rear 
Ruth properly. She had been neglecting this duty so far 
as to permit the invasion of a barbarian named Ericson 
only because she had been in California with her young 
son, Arthur. Just now, while her house was being opened, 
she was staying at the Winslows, with Arthur and a 
peculiarly beastly Japanese spaniel named Taka-San. 

She was introduced to Carl, she glanced him over, and 
passed him on to Olive Dunleavy, all in forty-five seconds. 
When Carl had recovered from a sensation of being a 
kitten drowned in a sack, he said agreeable things 
to Olive, and observed the situation in the drawing- 
room. 

Phil was marked out for Aunt Emma's favours ; Mr. 
Winslow sat in a corner, apparently crushed, with restora- 
tive conversation administered by Ruth ; Mason Winslow 
was haltingly attentive to a plain, well-dressed, amiable 
girl named Florence Crewden, who had prematurely grey 
hair, the week-end habit, and a weakness for baby talk. 
Ruth's medical-student brother, Bobby Winslow, was not 
there. The more he saw of Bobby's kind Aunt Emma, 
the more Carl could find it in his heart to excuse Bobby 
for having escaped the family dinner. 

Carl had an uncomfortable moment when Aunt Emma 
and Mr. Winslow asked him questions about the develop- 
ment of the Touricar. But before he could determine 

320 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

whether he was being deliberately inspected by the family 
the ordeal was over. 

As they went into dinner, Mr. Winslow taking in Aunt 
Emma like a small boy accompanying the school prin- 
cipal, Ruth had the chance to whisper : " My Hawk, be 
good. Please believe I'm not responsible. It's all Aunt 
Emma's doing, this dreadfully stately family dinner. 

Don't let her bully you. I'm frightened to death and 

Yes, Phil, I'm coming." 

The warning did not seem justified in view of the attrac- 
tive table candles, cut glass, a mound of flowers on 
a bevelled mirror, silvery linen, and grape-fruit with cham- 
pagne. Carl was at one side of Aunt Emma, but she 
seemed more interested in Mr. Winslow, at the end of 
the table ; and on his other side Carl had a safe companion 
in Olive Dunleavy. Across from him were Florence 
Crewden, Phil, and Ruth Ruth shimmering in a gown 
of yellow satin, which broke the curves of her fine, flushed 
shoulders only by a narrow band. 

The conversation played with people. Florence Crewden 
told, to applause and laughter, of an exploratory visit to 
the College of the City of New York, and her discovery 
of a strange race, young Jews mostly, who went to college 
to study, and had no sense of the nobility of " making " 
fraternities. 

" Such outsiders ! " she said. " Can't you imagine the 
sort of a party they'd have they'd all stand around and 
discuss psychology and dissecting puppies and Greek 
roots ! Phil, I think it would be a lovely punishment for 
you to have to join them to work in a laboratory all day 
and wear a celluloid collar.'' 

" Oh, I know their sort ; ' greasy grinds ' we used to call 
them ; there were'plenty of them at Yale, ' ' condescended Phil. 

" Maybe they wear celluloid collars if they do be- 
cause they're poor," protested Ruth. 

" My dear child," sniffed Aunt Emma, " with collars 
only twenty-five cents apiece ? Don't be silly ! " 

Mr. Winslow declared, with portly timidity, "Why, 

Em, my collars don't cost me but fifteen " 

321 x 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Mason dear, let's not discuss it at dinner. . . . Tell 
me, all of you, the scandal I've missed by going to Cali- 
fornia. Which reminds me ; did I tell you I saw that 
miserable Amy Baslin, you remember, thai married the 
porter or the superintendent or something in her father's 
factory ? I saw her and her husband at Pasadena, and 
they seemed to be happy. Of course Amy would put the 
best face she could on it, but they must have been miser- 
ably unhappy such a sad affair, and she could have 
married quite decently." 

" What do you mean by ' decently ' ? " Ruth demanded. 

Carl was startled. He had once asked Ruth the same 
question about the same phrase. 

Aunt Emma revolved like a gun-turret getting Ruth's 
range, and remarked, calmly : " My dear child, you know 
quite well what I mean. Don't, I beg of you, bring any 
socialistic problems to dinner till you have really learned 
something about them. . . . Now I want to hear all the 
nice scandals I have missed." 

There were not many she had missed ; but she kept 
the conversation sternly to discussions of people whose 
names Carl had never heard. Again he was obviously 
an Outsider. Still ignoring Carl, Aunt Emma demanded 
of Ruth and Phil, sitting together opposite her : 

" Tell me about the good times you children have been 
having, Ruthie. I am so glad that Phil and you finally 
went to the William Truegates. And your letter about 
the Beaux Arts festival was charming, Ruthie. I quite 
envied you and Phil." 

The dragon continued talking to Ruth, while Carl 
listened in the interstices of his chatter to Olive : 

" I hope you haven't been giving all your time and 
beauty-sleep doing too much of that settlement work, 
Ruthie and Heaven only knows what germs you will 
get there of course I should be the first to praise any 
work for the poor, ungrateful and shiftless though they 
are what with my committees and the Truegate Tem- 
perance Home for Young Working Girls it's all very 
well to be sympathetic with them, but when it comes to 

322 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

a settlement-house, and Heaven knows I have given them 
all the counsel and suggestions I could, though some of 
the professional settlement workers are as pert as they 
can be, and I really do believe some of them think they 
are trying to end poverty entirely, just as though the 
Lord would have sent poverty into the world if He didn't 
have a very good reason for it you will remember the 
Bible says, ' The poor you always have with you, 1 and as 
Florence Barclay says in her novels, which may seem 
a little sentimental, but they are of such a good moral 
effect, you can't supersede the Scriptures even in the most 
charming social circles. To say nothing of the blessings 
of poverty, I'm sure they're much happier than we are, 
with our onerous duties, I'm sure that if any of these 
ragamuffin anarchists and socialists and anti-militarists 
want to take over my committees they are welcome, if 
they'll take over the miserable headaches and worried 
hours they give me, trying to do something for the poor, 
they won't even be clean but even in model tenements 
they will put coal in the bath-tubs. And so I do hope 
you haven't just been wearing yourself to a bone working 
for ungrateful dirty little children, Ruthie." 

" No, auntie dear, I've been quite as discreet as any Win- 
slow should be. You see, I'm selfish too. Aren't I, Carl ? " 

" Oh, very." 

Aunt Emma seemed to remember, then, that some sort 
of a man, whose species she didn't quite know, sat next 
to her. She glanced at Carl, again gave him up as an 
error in social judgment, and went on : 

" No, Ruthie, not selfish so much as thoughtless about 
the duties of a family like ours and I was always the 
first to say that the Winslows are as fine a stock as the 
Truegates. And I am going to see that you go out more 
the rest of this year, Ruthie. I want you and Phil to 
plan right now to attend the Charity League dances 
next season. You must learn to concentrate your atten- 
tion " 

" Auntie dear, please leave my wickedness till the next 

time we " 

323 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" My dear child, now that I have the chance to get all 
of us together I'm sure Mr. Ericson will pardon the 
rest of us our little family discussions I want to take 
you and Master Phil to task together. You are both of 
you negligent of social duties duties they are, Ruthie, 
for man was not born to serve alone though Phil is far 
better than you, with your queer habits, and Heaven 
only knows where you got them, neither your father nor 
your dear sainted mother was slack or selfish " 

11 Dear auntie, let's admit that I'm a black sheep with 
a little black muzzle and a habit of butting all sorts of 
ash-cans ; and let Phil go on his social way rejoicing." 

Ruth was jaunty, but her voice was strained, and she 
bit her lip with staccato nervousness when she was not 
speaking. Carl ventured to face the dragon. 

" Mrs. Winslow, I'm sure Ruth has been better than 
you think ; she has been learning all these fiendishly com- 
plicated new dances. You know a poor business man like 
myself finds them " 

" Yes," said Aunt Emma, " I am sure she will always 
remember that she is a Winslow, and must carry on the 
family traditions, but sometimes I am afraid she gets 
under bad influences, because of her good nature." She 
said it loudly. She looked Carl in the eye. 

The whole table stopped talking. Carl felt like a 
tramp who has kicked a chained bulldog and discovers that 
the chain is broken. 

He wanted to be good ; not make a scene. He noticed 
with intense indignation that Phil was grinning. He 
planned to get Phil off in a corner, not necessarily a dark 
corner, and beat him. He wanted to telegraph Ruth ; 
dared not. He realized, in a quarter-second, that he 
must have been discussed by the Family, and did not 
like it. 

Every one seemed to be waiting for him to speak. Awk- 
wardly he said, wondering all the while if she meant what 
her tone said she meant, by " bad influences " : 

" Yes, but Just going to say I believe settle- 
ment work is a good influence " 

324 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Please don't discuss " Ruth was groaning, when 

Aunt Emma sternly interrupted : 

" It is good of you to take up the cudgels, Mr. Ericson, 
and please don't misjudge me of course I realize that I 
am only a silly old woman and that my passion to see 
the Winslows keep to their fine standards is old-fashioned, 
but you see it is a hobby of mine that I've devoted years 
to, and you who haven't known the Winslows so very 
long " Her manner was almost courteous. 

" Yes, that's so," Carl mumbled, agreeably, just as she 
dropped the courtesy and went on : 

" you can't judge in fact (this is nothing personal 
you know) I don't suppose it's possible for Westerners to 
have any idea how precious family ideals are to Easterners. 
Of course we're probably silly about them, and it's splendid, 
your wheat-lands, and not caring who your grandfather 
was ; but to make up for those things we do have to pro- 
tect what we have gained through the generations." 

Carl longed to stand up, to defy them all, to cry : "If 
you mean that you think Ruth has to be protected against 
me, have the decency to say so." Yet he kept his voice 
gentle : 

" But why be narrowed to just a few families in one's 
interests ? Now this settlement " 

" One isn't narrowed. There are plenty of good families 
for Ruth to consider when it comes time for my little 
girl to consider alliances at all ! " Aunt Emma coldly 
stated. f 

" I will shut up ! " he told himself. " I will shut up. 
I'll see this dinner through, and then never come near 
this house again." He tried to look casual, as though 
the conversation was safely finished. But Aunt Emma 
was waiting for him to go on. In the general stillness her 
corsets creaked with belligerent attention. He played 
with his fork in a " Well, if that's how you feel about 
it, perhaps it would be better not to discuss it any further, 
my dear madam," manner, growing every second more 
flushed, embarrassed, sick, angry ; trying harder every 
second to look unconcerned. 

325 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Aunt Emma hawked a delicate and ladylike hawk in 
her patrician throat, prefatory to a new attack. Carl 
knew he would be tempted to retort brutally. 

Then from the door of the dining-room whimpered 
the high voice of an excited child : 

" Oh, mamma, oh, Cousin Rut hie, nurse says Hawk 
Ericson is here ! I want to see him ! " 

Every one turned toward a boy of five or six, round 
as a baby chicken, in his fuzzy miniature pyjamas, pro- 
tectingly holding a cotton monkey under his arm, sturdy 
and shy and defiant. 

"Why, Arthur!' 1 "Why, my son!" "Oh, the 
darling baby ! " from the table. 

" Come here, Arthur, and let's hear your troubles 
before nurse nabs you, old son," said Phil, not at all 
condescendingly, rising from the table, holding out his 
arms. 

" No, no ! You just let me go I I want to see Hawk 
Ericson. Is that Hawk Ericson ? " demanded the son 
of Aunt Emma, pointing at Carl. 

" Yes, sweetheart," said Ruth, softly, proudly. 

Running madly about the end of the table, Arthur 
jumped at Carl's lap. 

Carl swung him up and inquired, " What is it, old 
man ? " 

" Are you Hawk Ericson ? " 

" At your commands, cap'n." 

Aunt Emma rose and said, masterfully, " Come, little 
son, now you've seen Mr. Ericson it's up to beddie again, 
U p to beddie." 

" No, no ; please no, mamma ! I've never seen a' 
aviator before, not in all my life, and you promised me 
'cross your heart, at Pasadena you did, I could see one." 

Arthur's face showed signs of imminent badness. 

" Well, you may stay for a while, then," said Aunt 
Emma, weakly, unconscious that her sway had departed 
from her, while the rest of the table grinned, except Carl, 
who was absorbed in Arthur's ecstasy. 

" I'm going to be a' aviator, too ; I think a' aviator is 

326 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

braver than anybody. I'd rather be a' aviator than a 
general or a policeman or anybody. I got a picture of 
you in my scrap-book you got a funny hat like Cousin 
Bobby wears when he plays football in it. Shall I get 
you the picture in my scrap-book ? . . . Honest, will you 
give me another ? " 

Aunt Emma made one more attempt to coax Arthur 
up to bed, but his Majesty refused, and she compromised 
by scolding his nurse and sending up for his dressing- 
gown, a small, blue dressing-gown on which yellow ducks 
and white bunny-rabbits paraded proudly. 

" Like our blue bowl ! " Carl remarked to Ruth. 

Not till after coffee in the drawing-room would Arthur 
consent to go to bed. This real head of the Emma Win- 
slow family was far too much absorbed in making Carl 
tell of his long races, and " Why does a flying-machine 
fly ? What's a wind pressure ? Why does the wind 
shove up ? Why is the wings curved ? Why does it 
want to catch the wind ? " The others listened, including 
even Aunt Emma. 

Carl went home early. Ruth had the opportunity to 
confide : 

" Hawk dear, I can't tell you how ashamed I am of 
my family for enduring anybody so rude and opinionated 
as Aunt Emma. But it's all right, now, isn't it ? ... 
No, no, don't kiss me, but dear dreams, Hawk." 

Phil's voice, from behind, shouted : " Oh, Ericson 1 
Just a second." 

Carl was not at all pleased. He remembered that 
Phil had listened with obvious amusement to his agonized 
attempt to turn Aunt Emma's attacks. 

Said Phil, while Ruth disappeared : " Which way you 
going ? Walk to the subway with you. You win, old 
man. I admire your nerve for facing Aunt Emma. What 

I wanted to say I hope to thunder you don't think 

I was in any way responsible for Mrs. Winslow's linking 

me and Ruth that way and Oh, you understand. 

I admire you like the devil for knowing what you want 
and going after it. I suppose you'll have to convince 

327 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Ruth yet, but, by Jove ! you've convinced me ! Glad 
you had Arthur for ally. They don't make kiddies any 

better. God ! if I could have a son like that I 

turn off here. G-good luck, Ericson." 

" Thanks a lot, Phil." 

" Thanks. Good night, Carl." 



328 



CHAPTER XXXVII 

T ONG BEACH, on the first hot Sunday of May, when 
I ^/motorists come out from New York, half-ready to 
open asphalt hearts to sea and sky. Carl's first sight 
of it, save from an aeroplane, and he was mad-happy to 
find real shore so near the city. 

Ruth and he were picnicking, vulgar and unashamed, 
among the dunes at the end of the long board-walk, like 
the beer-drinking, pickle-eating parties of fishermen and 
the family groups with red table-cloths, grape-basket 
lunches, and coloured Sunday supplements. Ruth de- 
clared that she preferred them to the elegant loungers 
who were showing off new motor-coats on the board-walk. 
But Carl and she had withdrawn a bit from the crowds, 
and in the dunes had made a nest, with a book and a 
magazine and a box of chocolates and Carl's collapsible 
lunch-kit. 

Not New York only, but all of Ruth's relatives were 
forgot. Aunt Emma Truegate Winslow was a myth of 
the dragon-haunted past. Here all was fresh colour and 
free spaces looking to open sea. Behind the dunes, with 
their traceries of pale grass, revelled the sharp, unshadowed 
green of marshes, and an inland bay that was blue as 
blueing, a startling blue, bordered by the emerald marshes. 
To one side afar, not troubling their peace were the 
crimson roofs of fantastic houses like chalets and Cali- 
fornia missions and villas of the Riviera, with gables 
and turrets of red tiles. 

Before their feet was the cream-coloured beach, marked 
by ridges of driftwood mixed with small glistening shells, 
long ranks of pale-yellow seaweed, and the delicate wrinkles 
in the sand that were the tracks of receding waves. The 
breakers left the beach wet and shining for a moment, 
like plates of raw-coloured copper, making one cry out 
with its flashing beauty. Then, at last, the eyes lifted 
to unbroken bluewater nothing between them and 
Europe save rolling waves and wave-crests like white 
plumes. The sea was of a diaphanous blue that shaded 

329 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

through a bold steel blue and a lucent blue enamel to a 
rich ultramarine which absorbed and healed the office- 
worn mind. The sails of tacking sloops were a-blossom ; 
sea-gulls swooped ; a tall surf-fisherman in red flannel 
shirt and shiny black hip-boots strode out into the water 
and cast with a long curve of his line ; cumulus clouds, 
whose pure white was shaded with a delicious golden 
tone, were baronial above ; and out on the skyline the 
steamers raced by. 

Round them was the warm intimacy of the dune sands ; 
beyond was infinite space calling to them to be big and 
unafraid. 

Talking, falling into silences touched with the mystery 
of sun and sea, they confessed youth's excited wonder 
about the world ; Carl sitting cross-legged, rubbing his 
ankles, a springy figure in blue flannel and a daring tie ; 
while Ruth, in deep-rose linen, her throat bright and bare, 
lay with her chin in her hands, a flush beneath the gentle 
brown of her cheeks, her white-clad ankles crossed under 
her skirt, slender against the grey sand, thoughtful of 
eye, lost in happiness. 

" Some day," Carl was musing, " your children and 
mine will say, ' You certainly lived in the most mar- 
vellous age in the world/ Think of it. They talk about 
the romance of the Crusades and the Romans and all 
that, but think of the miracles we've seen already, and we're 
only kids. Aviation and the automobile and wireless 
and moving pictures and electric locomotives and electric 
cooking and the use of radium and the X-ray and the 
linotype and the submarine and the labour movement 
the I.W.W. and syndicalism and all that not that I 
know anything about the labour movement, but I suppose 
it's the most important of all. And Metchnikoff and 
Ehrlich. Oh yes, and a good share of the development 
of the electric light and telephone and the phonograph. 
. . . Golly ! In just a few years ! " 

"Yes," Ruth added, "and Montessori's system of 
education that's what I think is the most important. 
. . . See that sailing-boat, Hawk I Like a lily. And 

330 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the late-afternoon gold on those marshes. I think this 
salt breeze blows away all the bad Ruth. ... Oh ! 
Don't forget the attempts to cure cancer and consumption. 
So many big things starting right now, while we're sitting 
here." 

" Lord ! what an age ! Romance why, there's more 
romance in a wireless spark think of it, little lonely 
wallowing steamer, at night, out in the dark, slamming 
out a radio like forty thousand tigers spitting and a 
man getting it here on Long Island. More romance 
than in all the galleons that ever sailed the purple tropics, 
which they mostly ain't purple, but dirty green. Any- 
thing's possible now. World cools off a'right, we'll 
move on to some other planet. It gets me going. Don't 
have to believe in fairies to give the imagination a job 
to-day. Glad I've been an aviator ; gives me some place 
in it all, anyway." 

" I'm glad, too, Hawk, terribly glad." 

The sun was crimsoning ; the wind grew chilly. The 
beach was scattered with camp-fires. Their own fire 
settled into compact live coals which, in the dusk of the 
dune-hollow, spread over the million bits of quartz a 
glow through which pirouetted the antic sand-fleas. Carl's 
cigarette had the fragrance that comes only from being" 
impregnated with the smoke of an outdoor fire. The 
waves were lyric, and a group at the next fire crooned 
"Old Black Joe." The two lovers curled in their nest. 
Hand moved toward hand. 

Ruth whispered : " It's sweet to be with all these 
people and their fires. . . . Will I really learn not to be 
supercilious ? " 

" Honey ! You supercilious ? Democracy Oh, 

the dickens ! let's not talk about theories any more, but 
just about Us ! " 

Her hand, tight-coiled as a snail-shell, was closed in his. 

" Your hand is asleep in my hand's arms," he whispered. 
The ball of his thumb pressed her thumb, and he whis- 
pered once more : " See. Now our hands are kissing 
each other we we must watch them better. . . . Your 

331 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

thumb is like a fairy/' Again his thumb, hardened with 
file and wrench and steering-wheel, touched hers. It 
was startlingly like a kiss of real lips. 

Lightly she returned the finger-kiss, answering dif- 
fidently, " Our hands are mad silly hands to think that 
Long Beach is a tropical jungle/' 

" You aren't angry at them ? " 

" N-no." 

He cradled her head on his shoulder, his hand gripping 
her arm till she cried, " You hurt me." He kissed her 
cheek. She drew back as far as she could. Her hand, 
against his chest, held him away for a minute. Her 
defence suddenly collapsed, and she was relaxed and 
throbbing in his arms. He slipped his fingers under her 
chin, and turned up her face till he could kiss her lips. 
He had not known the kiss of man and woman could be so 
long, so stirring. Yet at first he was disappointed. This 
was, after all, but a touch just such a touch as finger 
against finger. But her lips grew more intense against 
his, returning and taking the kiss ; both of them giving 
and receiving at once. 

Wondering at himself for it, Carl thought of other 
things. He was amazed that, while their lips were hot 
together, he worried as to what train Ruth ought to take, 
after dinner. Yet, with such thoughts conferring, he 
was in an ecstasy beyond sorrow ; praying that to her, 
as to him, there was no pain but instead a rapture in 
the sting of her lips, as her teeth cut a little into them. 
... A kiss thing that the polite novels sketch as a 
second's unbodied bliss how human it was, with teeth 
and lips to consider ; common as eating and divine 
as martyrdom. His lips were saying to her things too 
vast and extravagant for a plain young man to venture 
upon in words : 

" Lady, to you I chant my reverence and faith ever- 
lasting, in such unearthly music as the angels use when 
with lambent wings they salute the marching dawn." 
Such lyric tributes, and an emotion too subtle to fit into 
any words whatever, his lips were saying. . . . 

332 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Then she was drawing back, rending the kiss, crying, 
" You're almost smothering me ! " 

With his arms easily about her, but with her weight 
against his shoulder, they and their love veiled from 
the basket-parties by the darkness, he said, quiveringly : 
" See, my arms are a little house for you, just as my 
hand was a little house for your hand, once. My arms 
are the walls, and your head and mine together are the 
roof/' 

" I love the little house/' 

" No. Say, * I love you.' " 

" No." 

" Say it." 

" No." 

" Please " 

" Oh, Hawk dear, I couldn't even if just now, I do 
want to say it, but I want to be fair. I am terribly happy 
to be in the house of Hawk's arms. I'm not afraid in it, 
even out here on the dark dunes which Aunt Emma 
wouldn't somehow approve ! But I do want to be 
fair to you, and I'm afraid I'm not, when I let you love 
me this way. I don't want to hurt you. Ever. Per- 
haps it's egotistical of me, but I'm afraid you would be 
hurt if I let you kiss me and then afterward I decided 
I didn't love you at all." 

" But can't you, some day " 

" Oh, I don't know, I don't know I I'm not sure I 
know what love is. I'm not sure it's love that makes 
me happy (as I really am) when you kiss me. Perhaps 
I'm just curious, and experimenting. I was quite con- 
scious, when you kissed me then ; quite conscious and 
curious ; and once I caught myself wondering for half a 
second what train we'd take. I was ashamed of that, but 
I wasn't ashamed of taking mental notes and learning 
what these ' kisses,' that we mention so glibly, really are. 
Just experimenting, you see. And if you were too serious 
about our kiss, it wouldn't be at all fair to you." 

" I'm glad you're frank, blessed, and I guess I under- 
stand pretty well how you feel, but, after all, I'm fairly 

333 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

simple about such things. Blessed, blessed, I don't 
really know a thing but ' I love you.' " 

His arms were savage again ; he kissed her, kissed her 
lips, kissed the hollow of her throat. Then he lifted her 
from the ground and would not set her down till she 
had kissed him back. 

" You frightened me a lot, then," she said. " Did the 
child want to impress Ruth with his mighty strength ? 

Well, she shall be impressed. Hawk, I do hope I do 

hate myself for not knowing my mind. I will try not 
to experiment. I want you to be happy. I do want to 
be honest with you. If I'm honest, will you try not to 
be too impatient till I do know just what I want ? . . . 
Oh, I'm sick of the modern lover ! I talk and talk about 
love ; it seems as though we'd lost the power to be simple, 
like the old ballads. Or weren't the ballad people really 
simple, either ? You say you are ; so I think you will 
have to run away with me. . . . But not till after dinner ! 
Come." 

The moon was rising. Swinging hands, they tramped 
toward the board-walk. The crunch of their feet in the 
sand was the rhythmic spell of a magician, which she 
broke when she sighed : 

" Should I have let you kiss me, out here in the wilds ? 
Will you respect me after it ? " 

" Princess, you're all the respect there is in the world." 

" It seems so strange. We were absorbed in war and 
electricity and then " 

" Love is war and electricity, or else it's dull, and I 
don't think we two '11 ever get dull if you do decide you 
can love me. We'll wander : cabin in the Rockies, with 
forty mountains for our garden fence, and an eagle for 
our suburban train." 

" And South Sea islands silhouetted at sunset ! . . . 
Look ! That moon ! . . . I always imagine it so clearly 
when I hear Hawaiian singers on the gramophone and a 
Hawaiian beach, with fire-flies in the jungle behind and 
a phosphorescent sea in front and native girls dancing 
in garlands." 

334 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Yes ! And Paris boulevards and a mysterious castle 
in the Austrian mountains, with a hidden treasure in 
dark, secret dungeons, and heavy iron armour ; and 
then, bing ! a brand-new prairie town in Saskatchewan 
or Dakota, with brand-new sunlight on the fresh pine 
shacks, and beyond the town the plains with brand-new 
grass rolling." 

" But seriously, Hawk, would you want to go to all 
those places, if you were married ? Would you, prac- 
tically ? You know, even rich globe-trotters go to the 
same sorts of places, mostly. And we wouldn't even be 
rich, would we ? " 

" No, just comfortable ; maybe five thousand a year." 

" Well, would you really want to keep on going, and 
take your wife ? Or would you settle down like the rest, 
and spend money so you could keep in shape to make 
money to spend to keep in shape ? " 

" Seriously I would keep going if I had the right girl 
to go with me. It would be mighty important which 
one, though, I guess and by that I mean you. Once, 
when I quit flying, I thought that maybe I'd stop wander- 
ing and settle down, maybe even marry a Joralemon 
kind of a girl. But I was meant to hike for the hiking's 
sake. . . . Only, not alone any more. I need you. . . . 
We'd go and go. No limit. . . . And we wouldn't just 
go places, either ; we'd be different things. We'd be 
Connecticut farmers one year, and run a mine in Mexico 
the next, and loaf in Paris the next, if we had the money." 

" Sometimes you almost tempt me to like you." 

" Like me now ! " 

" No, not now, but Here's the board-walk." 

" Where's those steps ? Oh yes. Gee ! I hate to 
leave the water without having had a swim. Wish we'd 
had one. Dare you to go wading ! " 

" Oh, ought I to, do you think ? Wading would be 
silly. And nice." 

" Course you oughtn't. Come on. Don't you remem- 
ber how the sand feels between your toes ? " 

The moon brooded upon the lulled waves, and quested 

335 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

among the ridges of driftwood for pearly shells. The 
pools left by the waves were enticing. Ruth retreated 
into the shelter of the board-walk and came shyly out, 
clutching her skirts, her feet and ankles siKer in the light. 
" The sand does feel good, but tih ! it's getting colder 
and colder ! " she wailed, as she cautiously advanced into 
the water. " I'll think up punishments for you. You've 
not only caused me to be cold, but you've made me 
abominably self-conscious." 

" Don't be self-conscious, blessed. We are just chil- 
dren exploring." He splashed out, coat off, trousers 
rolled to the knee above his thin, muscular legs, galloping 
along the edge of the water like a large puppy, while 
she danced after him. 

They were stilled to the persuasive beauty of the night. 
Music from the topaz- jewelled hotels far down the beach 
wove itself into the peace on land and sea. A fish lying 
on shore was turned by the moon into ivory with carven 
scales. Before them, reaching to the ancient towers of 
England and France and the islands of the sea, was the 
whispering water. A tenderness that understood every- 
thing, made allowance for everything in her and in him- 
self, folded its wings round him as he scanned her that stood 
like a slender statue of silver dark hair moon-brightened, 
white arms holding her skirts, white legs round which 
the spent waves sparkled with unworldly fire. He waded 
over to her and timidly kissed the edge of her hair. 

She rubbed her cheek against his. " Now we must 
run," she said. She quickly turned back to the shadow 
of the board-walk, to draw on her stockings and shoes, 
kneeling on the sand like the simple maid of the ballads 
which she had been envying. 

They tramped along the board-walk, with heels click- 
ing like castanets, conscious that the world was hushed 
in night's old enchantment. 

As they had answered to companionship with the 
humble picnic-parties among the dunes, so now they 
found it amusing to dine among the semi-great and the 
semi-motorists at the Nassau. Ruth had a distinct 

336 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

pleasure when T. Wentler, horse-fancier, aviation enthu- 
siast, president of the First State Bank of Sacramento, 
came up, reminded Carl of their acquaintanceship at 
the Oakland-Berkeley Aero Meet, and begged Ruth and 
Carl to join him, his wife, and Senator Leeford, for coffee. 

As they waited for their train, quiet after laughter, 
Ruth remarked : "It was jolly to play with the Per- 
sonages. You haven't seen much of the frivolous side 
of me. It's pretty important. You don't know how 
much soul satisfaction I get out of dancing all night and 
playing tennis with flannelled oafs and eating marrons 
glaces and chatting in a box at the opera till I spoil the 
entire evening for all the German music-lovers, and talk- 
ing to all the nice doggies from the Tennis and Racquet 
Club whenever I get invited to Piping Rock or Meadow 
Brook or any other country club that has ancestors. I 
want you to take warning." 

" Did you really miss Piping Rock much to-day ? " 

" No but I might to-morrow, and I might get horribly 
bored in our cabin in the Rockies and hate the stony old 
peaks, and long for tea and scandal in a corner at the 
Ritz." 

" Then we'd hike on to San Francisco ; have tea at the 
St. Francis or the Fairmont or the Palace ; then beat 
it for your Hawaii and fire-flies in the bush." 

" Perhaps, but suppose, just suppose we were married 
and suppose the Touricar didn't go so awfully well, and 
we had to be poor, and couldn't go running away, but 
had to stick in one beastly city flat and economize ! It's 
all very well to talk of working things out together, but 
think of not being able to have decent clothes, and going 
to the movies every night ugh ! When I see some of 
the girls who used to be so pretty and gay, and they went 
and married poor men now they are so worn and tired 
and bedraggled and perambulatorious, and they worry 
about Biddies and furnaces and cabbages, and their hair 
is just scratched together, with the dubbest hats I'd 
rather be an idle rich." 

" If we got stuck like that, I'd sell out and we'd hike 
337 Y 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

to the mountain cabin, anyway, say go up in the Santa 
Lucias, and keep wild bees." 

" And probably get stung in the many subtle senses 
of that word. And I'd have to cook and wash. That 
would be fun as fun, but to have to do it " 

" Ruth, honey, let's not worry about it now, anyhow. 
I don't believe there's much danger. And don't let's 
spoil this bully day." 

" It has been sweet. I won't croak any more." 

" There's the train coming." 



338 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 

WHILE the New York June grew hotter and hotter 
and stickier and stickier, while the crowds, crammed 
together in the subway in a jam as unlovely as a pile of 
tomato-cans on a public dump-heap, grew pale in the 
damp heat, Carl laboured in his office, and almost every 
evening called on Ruth, who was waiting for the first of 
July, when she was to go to Cousin Patton Kerr's, in the 
Berkshires. Carl tried to bring her coolness. He ate only 
poached eggs on toast or soup and salad for dinner, that 
he might not be torpid. He gave her moss-roses with 
drops of water like dew on the stems. They sat out in 
the porch the unfriendly New York street adopting 
for a time the frank neighbourliness of a village and 
exclaimed over every breeze. They talked about the 
charm of forty degrees below zero. That is, sometimes. 
Their favourite topic was themselves. 

She still insisted that she was not in love with him ; 
hooted at the idea of being engaged. She might some 
day go off and get married to someone, but engaged ? 
Never ! She finally agreed that they were engaged to be 
engaged to be engaged. One night when they sought 
the windy housetop, she twined his arms about her and 
almost went to sleep, with her hair smooth beneath his 
chin. He sat motionless till his arms ached with the 
strain, till her shoulder seemed to stick into his like a bar 
of iron ; glad that she trusted him enough to doze into 
warm slumber in the familiarity of his arms. Yet he 
dared not kiss her throat, as he had done at Long Beach. 

As lovers do, Carl had thought intently of her warn- 
ing that she did care for clothes, dancing, country clubs. 
Ruth would have been caressingly surprised had she 
known the thought and worried conscientiousness he gave 
to the problem of planning " parties " for her. Ideas 
were always popping up in the midst of his work, and 
never giving him rest till he had noted them down on 
memo.-papers. He carried about, on the backs of enve- 
lopes, such notes as these : 

339 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Join country clb take R dances there ? 
Basket of fruit for R 
Invite Mason W lunch 
Orgnze Tear tour NY to SF 
Newspaper men on tour probly Forbes 
Rem Walter's new altitude 16,954 
R to Astor Roof 
Rem country c 

He did get a card to the Peace Waters Country Club 
and take Ruth to a dance there. She seemed to know 
every other member, and danced eloquently. He took her 
to the Josiah Bagbys' for dinner ; to the first-night of a 
summer musical comedy. But he was still the stranger 
in New York, and " parties " are not to be had by tipping 
waiters and buying tickets. Half of the half-dozen 
affairs which they attended were of her inspiration ; he 
was invited to go yachting at Larchmont, motoring, 
swimming on Long Island, with friends of herself and her 
brothers. 

One evening that strikes into Carl's memories of those 
days of the pays du ttndre is the evening on which Phil 
Dunleavy insisted on celebrating a Yale baseball victory 
by taking them to dinner in the oak-room of the Ritz- 
Carlton, under whose alabaster lights, among the cos- 
mopolites, they dined elaborately and smoked slim, 
imported cigarettes. The thin music of violins took them 
into the lonely grey groves of the Land of Wandering 
Tunes, till Phil began to talk, disclosing to them a devotion 
to beauty, a satirical sense of humour, and a final accep- 
tance of Carl as his friend. 

A hundred other " parties " Carl planned, while dining 
alone at inferior restaurants. A hundred times he took 
a ten-cent dessert instead of an exciting fifteen-cent 
strawberry shortcake, to save money for those parties. 
(Out of such sordid thoughts of nickel coins is built a 
love enduring, and even tolerable before breakfast coffee.) 

Yet always to him their real life was in simple jaunts 
out of doors, arranged without considering other people. 

340 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Her father seemed glad of that. He once said to Carl 
(giving him a cigar), " You children had better not let 
Aunt Emma know that you are enjoying yourselves as 
you want to ! How is the automobile business going ? " 

It would be pleasant to relate that Carl was inspired 
by love to put so much of that celebrated American quality 
" punch " into his work that the Touricar was sweeping 
the market. Or to picture with quietly falling tears 
the pathos of his business failure at the time when he 
most needed money. As a matter of fact, the Touricar 
affairs were going as, in real life, most businesses go just 
fairly well. A few cars were sold ; there were prospects 
of other sales ; the VanZile Corporation neither planned 
to drop the Touricar, nor elected our young hero vice- 
president of the corporation. 

In June Gertrude Cowles and her mother left for Jorale- 
mon. Carl had, since Christmas, seen them about once 
a month. Gertie had at first represented an unhappy 
old friend to whom he had to be kind. Then, as she 
seemed never to be able to give up the desire to see him 
tied down, whether by her affection or by his work, Carl 
came to regard her as an irritating foe to the freedom 
which he prized the more because of the increasing bond- 
age of the office. The last stage was pure indifference 
to her. Gertie was either a chance for simple sweetness 
which he failed to take, or she was a peril which he had 
escaped, according to one's view of her ; but in any case 
he had missed or escaped her as a romantic hero escapes 
fire, flood, and plot. She meant nothing to him, never 
could again. Life had flowed past her as, except in 
novels with plots, most lives do flow past temporary 
and fortuitous points of interest. . . . Gertie was farther 
from him now that those dancing Hawaiian girls whom 
Ruth and he hoped some day to see. Yet by her reach- 
ing out for his liberty Gertie had first made him prize 
Ruth. 

341 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

The ist of July, 1913, Ruth left for the Patton Kerrs' 
country house in the Berkshires, near Pittsfield. Carl 
wrote to her every day. He told her, apropos of Touri- 
cars and roof-gardens and aviation records and Sun- 
day motor-cycling with Bobby Winslow, that he loved 
her ; he even made, at the end of his letters, the old- 
fashioned lines of crosses to represent kisses. Whenever 
he hinted how much he missed her, how much he wanted 
to feel her startle in his arms, he wondered what she 
would read out of it ; wondered if she would put the 
letter under her pillow. 

She answered every other day with friendly letters 
droll in their descriptions of the people she met. His call 
of love she did not answer directly. But she admitted 
that she missed their playtimes ; and once she wrote to 
him, late on a cold Berkshire night, with a black rain 
and wind like a baying bloodhound : 



" It is so still in my room and so wild outside that I am 
frightened. I have tried to make myself smart in a blue 
silk dressing-gown and a tosh lace breakfast cap, and I will 
write neatly with a quill pen from the Mayfair, but just the 
same I am a lonely baby and I want you here to comfort 
me. Would you be too shocked to come ? I would 
put a Navajo blanket on my bed and a papier mach Turkish 
dagger and head of Othello over my bed and pretend it was 
a cosy corner, that is of course if they still have papier 
mdch! ornaments, I suppose they still live in Harlem and 
Brooklyn. We would sit very quietly in two wicker chairs 
on either side of my fireplace and listen to the swollen brook 
in the ravine just below my window. But with no Hawk 
here the wind keeps wailing that Pan is dead and that there 
won't ever again be any sunshine on the valley. Dear, 
it really isn't safe to be writing like this, after reading it 
you will suppose that it's just you that I am lonely for, 
but of course I'd be glad for Phil or Puggy Crewden or 
your nice solemn Walter MacMonnies or any suitor who 
would make foolish noises and hide me from the wind's 

342 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

hunting. Now I will seal this up and NOT send it in the 
morning. 

"Your playmate, RUTH. 

"Here is one small kiss on the forehead but remember 
it is just because of the wind and rain." 

Presumably she did mail the letter. At least, he received 
it. 

He carried her letters in the side-pocket of his coat 
till the envelopes were worn at the edges and nearly 
covered with smudged pencil-notes about things he wanted 
to keep in mind and would, of course, have kept in mind 
without making notes. He kept finding new meanings 
in her letters. He wanted them to indicate that she loved 
him ; and any ambiguous phrase signified successively 
that she loved, laughed at, loathed, and loved him. Once 
he got up from bed to take another look at a letter and 
see whether she had said, " I hope you had a dear good 
time at the Explorers 1 Club dinner," or " I hope you had 
a good time, dear." 

Carl was entirely sincere in his worried investigation 
of her state of mind. He knew that both Ruth and he 
had the instability as well as the initiative of the vaga- 
bond. As quickly as they had claimed each other, so 
quickly could either of them break love's alliance, if 
bored. Carl himself, being anything but bored, was as 
faithfully devoted as the least enterprising of moral young 
men. He forgot Gertie, did not write to Istra Nash the 
artist, and when the VanZile office got a new telephone- 
girl, a tall, languorous brunette with shadowy eyes and 
fine cheeks, he did not even smile at her. 

But was Ruth so bound ? She still refused to admit 
even that she could fall in love. He knew that Ruth and 
he were not romantic characters, but everyday people 
with a tendency to quarrel and demand and be slack. 
He knew that even if the rose dream came true, there 
would be drab spots in it. And now that she was away, 
with Lenox and polo to absorb her, could the gauche, 

343 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

ignorant Carl Ericson, that he privately knew himself to 
be, retain her interest ? 

Late in July he received an invitation to spend a 
week-end, Friday to Tuesday, with Ruth at the Patton 
Kerrs. 



344 



CHAPTER XXXIX 

THE brief trip to the Berkshires was longer than any 
he had taken these nine months. He looked for- 
ward animatedly to the journey, remembering details 
of travel such trivial touches as the oval brass wash- 
bowls of a Pullman sleeper, and how, when the water is 
running out, the inside of the bowl is covered with a 
whitish film of water, which swiftly peels off. He recalled 
the cracked white paint of a steamer's ventilator ; the 
abruptly stopping zhhhhh of a fog-horn ; the vast smoky 
roof of a Philadelphia train-shed, clamorous with the 
train-bells of a strange town, giving a sense of mystery 
to the traveller stepping from the car for a moment to 
stretch his legs ; an ugly junction station platform, with 
resin oozing from the heavy planks in the spring sun ; 
the polished binnacle of the s.s. Panama. 

He expected keen joy in new fields and hills. Yet all 
the way north he was trying to hold the train back. In 
a few minutes, now, he would see Ruth. And at this 
hour he did not even know definitely that he liked her. 

He could not visualize her. He could see the sleeve 
of her blue corduroy jacket ; her eyes he could not see. 
She was a stranger. Had he idealized her ? He was 
apologetic for his unflattering doubt, but of what sort 
was she ? 

The train was stopping at her station with rattling win- 
dows and a despairing grind of the wheels. Carl seized 
his overnight bag and suit-case with fictitious enthusiasm. 
He was in a panic. Emerging from the safe, impersonal 
train upon the platform, he saw her. 

She was waving to him from a one-seated phaeton, 
come alone to meet him and she was the adorable, the 
perfect comrade. He thought jubilantly as he strode 
along the platform : " She's wonderful. Love her ? 
Should say I do ! " 

While they drove under the elms, past white cottages 
and the village green, while they were talking so lightly 
and properly that none of the New England gossips could 

345 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

be wounded in the sense of propriety, Carl was learning 
her anew. She was an outdoor girl now, in low-collared 
blouse and white linen skirt. He rejoiced in her modu- 
lating laugh ; the contrast of blue eyes and dark brows 
under her Panama hat ; her full dark hair, with a lock 
sun-drenched ; her bare throat, boyishly brown, femininely 
smooth ; the sweet, clean, fine-textured girl flesh of the 
hollow of one shoulder faintly to be seen in the shadow 
of her broad, drooping collar ; one hand, with a curious 
ring of rose quartz and steel points, excitedly pounding 
a tattoo of greeting with the whip-handle ; her spirited 
irreverences regarding the people they passed ; chatter 
which showed the world transformed as through ruby 
glass a Ruth radiant, understanding, his comrade. She 
was all that he had believed during her absence and doubted 
while he was coming to her. But he had no time to 
repent of his doubt, now, so busily was he exulting to 
himself, slipping a hand under her arm : " Love her ? 
I should say I do ! " 

The carriage rolled out of town with the rhythmic 
creak of a country buggy, climbed a hill range by means 
of the black, oily state road, and turned upon a sandy 
side-road. A brook ran beside them. Sunny fields 
alternated with woods leaf-floored, quiet, holy miraculous 
after the weary city. Below was a vista of downward- 
sloping fields, divided by creeper-covered stone walls ; 
then a sun-meshed valley set with ponds like shining 
glass dishes on a green table-cloth ; beyond all, a long 
reach of hill-sides covered with unbroken fleecy forest, 
like green down. . . . 

" So much unspoiled country, and yet there's people 
herded in subways ! " complained Carl. 

They drove along a level road, lined with wild rasp- 
berry-bushes and full of a thin jade light from the shading 
maples. They gossiped of the Patton Kerrs and the 
Berkshires ; of the difference between the professional 
English week-ender and the American, who still has some- 
thing of the naive provincial delight of " going visiting " ; 
of New York and the Dunleavys. But their talk lulled 

346 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

to a nervous hush. It seemed to him that a great voice 
cried from the clouds : " It is beside Ruth that you are 
sitting ; Ruth whose arm you feel ! " In silence he caught 
her left hand. 

As he slowly drew back her hand and the reins with it, 
to stop the ambling horse, the two children stared straight 
at each other, hungry, tremulously afraid. Their kiss 
not only their lips, but their spirits met without one 
reserve. A straining long kiss, as though they were 
forcing their lips into one body of living flame. A kiss in 
which his eyes were blind to the enchantment of the jade 
light about them, his ears deaf to brook and rustling forest. 
All his senses were concentrated on the close warmth of 
her misty lips, the curve of her young shoulder, her woman 
sweetness and longing. Then his senses forgot even her 
lips, and floated 08 into a blurred trance of bodiless hap- 
piness the kiss of Nirvana. No foreign thought of 
trains or people or the future came now to drag him to 
earth. It was the most devoted, most sacred moment 
he had known. 

As he became again conscious of lips and cheek and 
brave shoulders and of her widespread fingers gripping 
his upper arm, she was slowly breaking the spell of the 
kiss. But again and again she kissed him, hastily, savage 
tokens of rejoicing possession. 

She cried : " I do know now ! I do love you ! " 

" Blessed " 

In silence they stared into the woods while her fingers 
smoothed his knuckles. Her eyes were faint with tears, 
in the magic jade light. 

" I didn't know a kiss could belike that," she marvelled, 
presently. " I wouldn't have believed selfish Ruth could 
give all of herself." 

" Yes ! It was the whole universe." 

" Hawk dear, I wasn't experimenting, that time. I'm 
glad, glad ! To know I can really love ; not just curiosity ! 
. . . I've wanted you so all day. I thought four o'clock 
wouldn't ever come and oh, darling, my dear, dear 
Hawk, I didn't even know for sure I'd like you when you 

347 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

came ! Sometimes I wanted terribly to have your silly, 
foolish, childish, pale hair on my breast such hair ! lady's 
hair ! but sometimes I didn't want to see you at all, 
and I was frightened at the thought of your coming, and 
I fussed around the house till Mrs. Pat laughed at me 
and accused me of being in love, and I denied it and she 
was right ! " 

" Blessed, I was scared to death, all the way up here. 
I didn't think you could be as wonderful as I knew you 

were ! That sounds mixed but Oh, blessed, blessed, 

you really love me ? You really love me ? It's hard 
to believe I've actually heard you say it ! And I love you 
so completely. Everything." 

" I love you ! . . . That is such an adorable spot to 
kiss, just below your ear," she said. " Darling, keep me 
safe in the little house of arms, where there's only room 
for you and me no room for offices or Aunt Emmas ! . . . 
But not now. We must hurry on. ... If a wagon had 
been coming along the road ! " 

As they entered the rhododendron-lined drive of the 
Patton Ken* place, Carl remembered a detail, not impor- 
tant, but usual. " Oh yes/' he said, " I've forgotten to 
propose." 

" Need you ? Proposals sound like contracts and all 
those other dull forms ; not like that kiss. . . . See ! 
There's Pat Kerr, Jr., waving to us. You can just make 
him out, there on the upper balcony. He is the darlingest 
child, with ash-blond hair cut Dutch style. I wonder 
if you didn't look like him when you were a boy, with 
your light hair ? " 

" Not a chance. I was a grubby kid. Made noises. 
. . . Gee ! what a bully place. And the house! . . . Will 
you marry me ? " 

" Yes, I will ! . . . It is a dear place. Mrs. Pat is " 

" When ? " 

" always fussing over it ; she plants daffodils 

and crocuses in the woods, so you find them growing 
wild." 

" I like those awnings. Against the white walls. . . . 
348 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

May I consider that we are engaged then, Miss Winslow 
engaged for the next marriage ? " 

" Oh no, no, not engaged, dear. Don't you know 
it's one of my principles " 

" But look " 

" not to be engaged, Hawk ? Everybody brings 
the cunnin' old jokes out of the moth-balls when you're 

engaged. I'll marry you, but " 

' Marry me next month August ? " 
' Nope." 
' September ? " 
' Nope/ 7 

' Please, Ruthie. Aw yes, September. Nice month, 
September is. Autumn. Harvest moon. And apples 
to swipe. Come on. September." 

"Well, perhaps September. We'll see. Oh, Hawk 
dear, can you conceive of us actually sitting here and 
solemnly discussing being married ? Us, the babes in the 
wood ? And I've only known you three days or so, seems 
to me. . . . Well, as I was saying, perhaps I'll marry you 
in September (um ! frightens me to think of it ; frightens 
me and awes me and amuses me to death, all at once). 
That is, I shall marry you unless you take to wearing 
pearl-grey hats or white evening ties with black edging, 
or kill Mason in a duel, or do something equally disgraceful. 
But engaged I will not be. And we'll put the money 
for a diamond ring into a big davenport. . . . Are we 
going to be dreadfully poor ? " 

" Oh, not pawn-shop poor. I made VanZile boost my 
salary, last week, and with my Touricar stock I'm get- 
ting a little over four thousand dollars a year." 

" Is that lots or little ? " 

" Well, it '11 give us a decent apartment and a nearly 
decent maid, I guess. And if the Touricar keeps going, 
we can beat it off for a year, wandering , after maybe 
three or four years." 

"I hope so. Here we are 1 That's Mrs. Pat waiting 
for us." 

The Patton Kerr house, set near the top of the highest 

349 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

hill in that range of the Berkshires, stood out white against 
a slope of crisp green ; an old manor house of long lines 
and solid beams, with striped awnings of red and white, 
and in front a brick terrace, with basket-chairs, a swing- 
ing couch, and a wicker tea-table already welcomingly 
spread with a service of Royal Doulton. From the ter- 
race one saw miles of valley and hills, and villages strung 
on a rambling river. The valley was a golden bowl filled 
with the peace of afternoon ; a world of sun and listening 
woods. 

On the terrace waited a woman of thirty-five, of clever 
face a bit worn at the edges, carefully coiffed hair, and 
careless white blouse with a tweed walking-skirt. She 
was gracefully holding out her hand, greeting Carl, " It's 
terribly good of you to come clear out into our wilder- 
ness/' She was interrupted by the bouncing appearance 
of a stocky, handsome, red-faced, full-chinned, curly- 
black-haired man of forty, in riding-breeches and boots 
and a silk shirt ; with him an excited small boy in rompers 
Patton Kerr, Sr. and Jr. 

" Here you are ! " Senior observantly remarked. " Glad 
to see you, Ericson. You and Ruthie been a deuce of a 
time coming up from town. Holding hands along the 
road, eh ? Lord ! these aviators ! " 

" Pat ! " 

" Animal ! " 

protested Mrs. Kerr and Ruth, simultaneously. 

" All right. I'll be good. Saw you fly at Nassau 
Boulevard, Ericson. Turned my horn loose and hooted 
till they thought I was a militant, like Ruthie here. Lord ! 
what flying, what flying ! I'd like to see you race Wey- 
mann and Vedrines. . . . Ruthie, will you show Mr. Eric- 
son where his room is, or has poor old Pat got to go and 
drag a servant away from reading Town Topics, heh ? " 

" I will, Pat," said Ruth. 

" I will, daddy," cried Pat, Jr. 

" No, my son, I guess maybe Ruthie had better do it. 
There's a certain look in her eyes " 

" Basilisk ! " 

350 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" Salamander ! " 

Ruth and Carl passed through the wide colonial hall, 
with mahogany tables and portraits of the Kerrs and the 
sword of Colonel Patton. At the far end was an open 
door, and a glimpse of an old-fashioned garden radiant 
with hollyhocks and Canterbury bells. It was a world 
of utter content. As they climbed the curving stairs 
Ruth tucked her arm in his, saying : 

" Now do you see why I won't be engaged ? Pat Kerr 
is the best chum in the world, yet he finds even a possible 
engagement wildly humorous like mothers-in-law or 
poets or falling on your ear." 

" But gee ! Ruth, you are going to marry me ? " 

" You little child ! My little boy Hawk ! Of course 
I'm going to marry you. Do you think I would miss my 
chance of a cabin in the Rockies ? . . . My famous Hawk 
what everybody cheered at Nassau Boulevard ! " She 
opened the door of his room with a deferential, " Thy 
chamber, milord ! . . . Come down quickly," she said. 
" We mustn't miss a moment of these days. ... I am 
frank with you about how glad I am to have you here. 
You must be good to me ; you will prize my love a little, 
won't you ? " Before he could answer she had run away. 

After half home-comings and false home-comings the 
adventurer had really come home. 

He inspected the gracious room, its chintz hangings, 
four-poster bed, low wicker chair by the fireplace, fresh 
Cherokee roses on the mantel ; a room of cheerfulness 
and open spaces. He stared into woods where a cool 
light lay on moss and fern. He did not need to remember 
Ruth's kisses. For each breath of hill-top air, each emerald 
of moss, each shining mahogany surface in the room, 
repeated to him that he had found the Grail, whose other 
name is love. 

Saturday, they loafed over breakfast, the sun licking 
the tree-tops in the ravine outside the windows ; and they 
motored with the Kerrs to Lenox, returning through 
the darkness. Till midnight they talked on the terrace. 
They loafed again, the next morning, and let the fresh 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

air dissolve the office grime which had been coating his 
spirit. They were so start lingly original as to be simple- 
hearted country lovers, in the afternoon, declining Ken's 
offer of a car, and rambling off on bicycles. 

From a rise they saw water gleaming among the trees. 
The sullen green of pines set off the silvery green of barley, 
and an orchard climbed the next rise ; the smoky shadow 
of another hill range promised long, cool forest roads. 
Crows were flying overhead, going where they would. 
The aviator and the girl who read psychology, modern 
lovers, stood hand in hand, as though the age of machinery 
were a myth ; as though he were a piping minstrel and she 
a shepherdess. Before them was the open road and all 
around them the hum of bees. 

A close, listless heat held Monday afternoon, even on 
the hill-top. The clay tennis-court was baking ; the worn 
bricks of the terrace reflected a furnace glow. The Kerrs 
had disappeared for a nap. Carl, lounging with Ruth on 
the swinging couch in the shade, thought of the slaves in 
New York offices and tenements. Then, because he 
would himself be back in an office next day, he let the 
glare of the valley soothe him with its wholesome heat. 

" Certainly would like a swim," he remarked. " Couldn't 
we bike down to Fisher's Pond, or maybe take the Ford ? " 

" Let's. But there's no bath-house." 

" Put a bathing-suit under your dress. Sun '11 dry it 
in no time, after the swim." 

" As you command, my liege." And she ran in to 
change. 

They motored down to Fisher's Pond, which is a lake, 
and stopped in a natural woodland-opening like a dun- 
lighted green-room. From it stretched the enamelled 
lake, the farther side reflecting unbroken woods. The 
nearer water-edge was exquisite in its clearness. They 
saw perch fantastically floating over the pale sand bot- 
tom, among scattered reeds whose watery green stalks 
were like the thin columns of a dancing-hall for smaD 
fishes. The surface of the lake, satiny as the palm of a 
girl's hand, broke in the tiniest of ripples against white- 

352 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

quartz pebbles on the hot shore. Cool, flashing, golden- 
sanded, the lake coaxed them out of their forest room. 

" A lot like the Minnesota lakes, only smaller," said 
Carl. "I'm going right in. About ready for a swim ? 
Come on." 

" I'm af-fraid ! " She suddenly plumped on the earth 
and hugged her skirts about her ankles. 

" Why, blessed, what you scared of ? No sharks 
here, and no undertow. Nice white sand " 

" Oh, Hawk, I was silly. I felt I was such an inde- 
pendent modern woman a-a-and I aren't ! I've always 
said it was silly for girls to swim in a woman's bathing- 
suit. Skirts are so cumbersome. So I put on a boy's 
bathing-suit under my dress and I'm terribly embar- 
rassed." 

" Why, blessed Well, I guess you'll have to 

decide." His voice was somewhat shaky. " Awful scared 
of Carl ? " 

" Yes ! I thought I wouldn't be, with you, but I'm 
self-conscious as can be." 

" Well, gee ! I don't know. Of course Well, I'll 

jump in, and you can decide." 

He peeled off his white flannels and stood in his blue 
bathing-suit, not statue-like, not very brown now, but 
trim-waisted, shapely armed, wonderfully clean of neck 
and jaw. With a " Wheel ! " he dashed into the water 
and swam out, overhand. 

As he turned over and glanced back, his heart caught 
to see her standing on the creamy sand, a shy, elfin figure 
in a boy's bathing-suit of black wool, woman and slim 
boy in one, silken-throated and graceful-limbed, curiously 
smaller than when dressed. Her white skirt and blouse 
lay tumbled about her ankles. She raised rosy arms 
to hide her flushed face and her eyes, as she cried : 

" Don't look ! " 

He obediently swam on, with a tenderness more poign- 
ant than longing. He heard her splashing behind him, 
and turned again, to see her racing through the water. 
Those soft yet not narrow shoulders rose and fell sturdily 

353 z 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

under the wet black wool, her eyes shone, and she was 
all comradely boy save for her dripping, splendid hair. 
Singing, " Come on, lazy ! " she headed across the pond. 
He swam beside her, revelling in the well-being of cool 
water and warm air, till they reached the solemn shade 
beneath the trees on the other side, and floated in the 
dark, still water, splashing idle hands, gazing into forest 
hollows, spying upon the brisk business of squirrels, 
among the acorns. 

Back at their greenwood room, Ruth wrapped her 
sailor blouse about her, and they squatted like un-self- 
conscious children on the beach, while from a field a 
distant locust fiddled his August fandango and in flame- 
coloured pride an oriole went by. Fresh sky, sunfish like 
tropic shells in the translucent water, arching reeds dip- 
ping their olive-green points in the water, wavelets rust- 
ling against a grey neglected rowboat, and beside him 
Ruth. 

Musingly they built a castle of sand. An hour of under- 
standing so complete that it made the heart melancholy. 
When he sighed, " Getting late ; come on, blessed ; we're 
dry now," it seemed that they could never again know such 
rapt tranquillity. 

Yet they did. For that evening when they stood on 
the terrace, trying to forget that he must leave her and 
go back to the lonely city in the morning, when the mist 
reached chilly tentacles up from the valley, they kissed 
a shy good-bye, and Carl knew that life's real adventure 
is not adventuring, but finding the playmate with whom 
to quest life's meaning. 



354 



CHAPTER XL 

AFTER six festival months of married life in April 
or May, 1914 the happy Mrs. Carl Ericson did 
not have many " modern theories of marriage in general," 
though it was her theory that she had such theories. 
Like a majority of intelligent men and women, Ruth 
was, in her rebellion against the canonical marriage of 
slipper-warming and obedience, emphatic but vague. 
She was of precise opinion regarding certain details of 
marriage, but in general as inconsistent as her library. 
It is a human characteristic to be belligerently sure as 
to whether one prefers plush or rattan upholstery on 
car seats but not to consider whether government 
ownership of railways will improve upholstering ; to 
know with certainty of perception that it is a bore to 
have one's husband laugh at one's pet economy, of matches 
or string or ice but to be blandly willing to leave all 
theories of polygamy and polyandry, monogamy and 
varietism, to the clever Russian Jews. 

As regards details Ruth definitely did want a bedroom 
of her own ; a desire which her mother would have re- 
garded as somehow immodest. She definitely did want 
shaving and hair-brushing kept in the background. She 
did not want Carl the lover to drift into Carl the hus- 
band. She did not want them to lose touch with other 
people. And she wanted to keep the spice of madness 
which from the first had seasoned their comradeship. 

These things she delightfully had in May, 1914. 

They were largely due to her own initiative. Carl's 
drifting theories of social structure concerned for the 
most part the wages of workmen and the ridiculousness 
of class distinctions. Reared in the farming district, 
the amateur college, the garage, and the hangar, he had 
not, despite imagination, devoted two seconds to such 
details as the question of whether there was freedom 
and repose not to speak of a variety of taste as regards 
opening windows and sleeping diagonally across a bed 
in having separate bedrooms. Much though he had 

355 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

been persuaded to read of modern fiction, his race still 
believed that marriage bells and roses were the proper 
portions of marriage to think about. 

It was due to Ruth, too, that they had so amiable 
a flat. Carl had been made careless of surroundings 
by years of hotels and furnished rooms. There was 
less real significance for him in the beauty of his first 
home than in the fact that they two had a bathroom 
of their own ; that he no longer had to go, clad in a drab 
bath-robe, laden with shaving materials and a towel 
and talcum powder and a broken hand-mirror and a 
tooth-brush, like a perambulating drug-store toilet- 
counter, down a boarding-house hall to that modified 
hall bedroom with a tin tub which his doctor-landlord 
had called a bathroom. Pictures, it must be admitted, 
give a room an air ; pleasant it is to sit in large chairs 
by fireplaces and feel yourself a landed gentleman. But 
nothing filled Carl with a more delicate and truly spiritual 
satisfaction than having a porcelain tub, plenty of 
hot water, and the privilege of leaving his shaving-brush 
in the Ericson bathroom with a fair certainty of finding 
it there when he wanted to shave in a hurry. 

But, careless of surroundings or not, Carl was stirred 
when on their return from honeymooning in the Adiron- 
dacks he carried Ruth over the threshold and they stood 
together in the living-room of their home. 

It was a room to live in and laugh in. The woodwork 
was white-enamelled ; the walls covered with grey Jap- 
anese paper. There were no portieres between living- 
room and dining-room and small hall, so that the three 
rooms, with their light-reflecting walls, gave an effect 
of spaciousness to rather a cramped and old-fashioned 
flat. There were not many pictures and no bric-k-brac, 
yet the rooms were not bare, but clean and trim and 
distinguished, with the large davenport and the wing- 
chair, chintz-cushioned brown willow chairs, and Ruth's 
upright piano, excellent mahogany, and a few good rugs. 
There were only two or three vases, and they genuinely 
intended for holding flowers, and there was a bare mantel- 

356 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

piece that rested the eyes, over the fuzzily clean gas- 
log. The pictures were chosen because they led the 
imagination on etchings and colour prints, largely by 
unknown artists, like windows looking on delightful 
country. The chairs assembled naturally in groups. 
The whole unit of three rooms suggested people talking. 
... It was home, first and last, though it was one cell 
in one layer of a seven-story building, on a street walled 
in with such buildings, in a city which lined up more 
than three hundred of such streets from its southern 
tip to its northern limit along the Hudson, and threw 
in a couple of million people in Brooklyn and the Bronx. 

They lived in the Nineties, between Broadway and 
Riverside Drive ; a few blocks from the Winslow house 
in distance, but one generation away in the matter of 
decoration. The house itself was comparatively old- 
fashioned, with an intermittent elevator run by an inter- 
mittent negro youth who gave most of his time to the 
telephone switchboard and mysterious duties in the 
basement ; also with a downstairs hall that was narrow 
and carpeted and lined with offensively dark wood. But 
they could see the Hudson from their living-room on 
the sixth floor at the back of the house (the agent assured 
them that probably not till the end of time would there 
be anything but low, private houses between them and 
the river) ; they were not haunted by Aunt Emma True- 
gate Wmslow ; and Ruth, who had long been oppressed 
by late-Victorian bric-ci-brac and American Louis XVth 
furniture, so successfully adopted Elimination as the 
key-note that there was not one piece of furniture bought 
for the purpose of indicating that Mr. and Mrs. Carl 
Ericson were well-to-do. 

She dared to tell friends who before the wedding in- 
quired what she wanted, that cheques were welcome, 
and need not be monogrammed. Even Aunt Emma 
had been willing to send a cheque, provided they were 
properly married in St. George's Church. Consequently 
their six rooms showed a remarkable absence of such 
usual wedding presents as prints of the smugly smiling 

357 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and eupeptic Mona Lisa, three muffin-stands in three 
degrees of marquetry, three electroliers, four punch- 
bowls, three sets of almond-dishes, a pair of bird-carvers 
that did not carve, a bust of Dante in New Art marble, 
or a de luxe set of De Maupassant translated by a worthy 
lady with a French lexicon. Instead, they bought what 
they wanted rather an impertinent thing to do, but, 
like most impertinences, thoroughly worth while. Their 
living-room was their own. Carl's bedroom was white 
and simple, though spotty with aviation medals and 
silver cups and monoplanes sketchily rendered in gold, 
and signed photographs of aviators. Ruth's bedroom 
was also plain and white and dull Japanese grey, a simple 
room with that simplicity of hand-embroidery, real lace, 
and fine linen appreciated by exclamatory women friends. 

She taught Carl to say " dahg " instead of " dawg " 
for " dog " ; " wawta " instead of " wotter " for " water/' 
Whether she was more correct in her pronunciation or 
not does not matter ; New York said " dahg/' and it 
amused him just then to be very Eastern. She taught 
him the theory of house-lighting. Carl had no fanatical 
objection to unshaded incandescent bulbs glaring from 
the ceiling. But he came to like the shaded electric 
lamps which Ruth installed in the living-room. When 
she introduced four candles as sole lighting of the dining- 
room table, however, he grumbled loudly at his inability 
to see what he was eating. She retired to her bedroom, 
and he huffily went out to get a cigar. At the cigar- 
counter he repented of all the unkind things he had ever 
done or could possibly do, and returned to eat humble 
pie and eat it by candle-light. Inside of two weeks 
one of the things which Carl Ericson had always known 
was that the harmonious candle-light brought them 
close together at dinner. 

The teaching, in this Period of Adjustments, was not 
all on Ruth's part. It was due to Carl's insistence that 
she tried to discover what her theological beliefs really 
were. She admitted that only at twilight vespers, with 
a gale of violins in an arched roof, did she really worship 

358 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

in church. She did not believe that priests and ministers, 
who seemed to be ordinary men as regards earthly things, 
had any extraordinary knowledge of the mysteries of 
heaven. Yet she took it for granted that she was a good 
Christian. She rarely disagreed with the Dunleavys, 
who were Catholics ; or her Aunt Emma, who regarded 
anything but High Church Episcopalianism as bad form ; 
or her brother Mason, who was an uneasy Unitarian ; 
or Carl, who was an unaggressive agnostic. 

Of the four it was Carl who seemed to have the greatest 
interest in religions. He blurted out such monologues 
as, "I wonder if it isn't pure egotism that makes a person 
believe that the religion he is born to is the best ? My 
country, my religion, my wife, my business we think 
that whatever is ours is necessarily sacred, or, in other 
words, that we are gods and then we call it faith and 
patriotism ! The Hindu or the Christian is equally 
ready to prove to you and mind you, he may be a wise 
old man with a beard that his national religion is obvi- 
ously the only one. Find out what you yourself really 
do think, and if you turn out a Sun-worshipper or a 
Hard-shell Baptist, why, good luck. If you don't think 
for yourself, then you're admitting that your theory 
of happiness is the old dog asleep in the sun. And maybe 
he is happier than the student. But I think you like 
to experiment with life." 

His arguments were neither original nor especially 
logical ; they were largely given to him by Bone Still- 
man, Professor Frazer, and chance paragraphs in stray 
radical magazines. But to Ruth, politely reared in a 
house with three maids, where it was as tactless to dis- 
cuss God as to discuss sex, his defiances seemed terrify- 
ingly new. . . . She was not the first who had com- 
placently gone to church after reading Bernard Shaw. 
. . . But she did try to follow Carl's loose reasoning ; 
to find out what she thought and what the spiritual 
fashions of her neighbourhood made her think she 
thought. 

The process gave her many anxious hours of alternat- 

359 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

ing impatience with fixed religious dogmas, and loneliness 
for the comfortable refuge of a personal God, whose 
yearning had spoken to her in the Gregorian chant. She 
could never get herself to read more than two chapters 
of any book on the subject, nor did she get much light 
from conversation. One set of people supposed that 
Christianity had so entirely disappeared from intelligent 
circles that it was not worth discussion ; another set 
supposed that no one but cranks ever thought of doubt- 
ing the essentials of Christianity, and that, therefore, 
it was not worth discussion, and to a few superb women 
whom she knew, their religion was too sweet a reality 
to be subjected to the noisy chatter of discussion. Gradu- 
ally Ruth forgot to think often of the matter, but it was 
always back in her mind. 

They were happy, Carl and Ruth. To their flat came 
such of Ruth's friends as she kept because she liked them 
for themselves, with a fantastic assortment of personages 
and awkward rovers whom the ex-aviator knew. The 
Ericsons made an institution of " bruncheon " break- 
fast-luncheon at which coffee and eggs and devilled 
kidneys, a table of auction bridge and a davenport of 
talk and a wing-chair of Sunday papers, were to be had 
on Sunday morning from ten to one. At bruncheon 
Walter MacMonnies told to Florence Crewden his experi- 
ences in exploring Southern Greenland by aeroplane 
with the Schliess-Banning expedition. At bruncheon 
Bobby Winslow, now an interne, talked baseball with 
Carl. At bruncheon Phil Dunleavy regarded cynically 
all the people he did not know and played piquet in a 
corner with Ruth's father. 

Carl and Ruth joined the Peace Waters Country Club, 
and in the spring of 1914 went there nearly every Satur- 
day afternoon for tennis and a dance. Carl refused 
golf, however ; he always repeated a shabby joke about 
the shame of taking advantage of such a tiny ball. 

He seemed content to stick to office, home, and tennis- 
court. It was Ruth who planned their week-end trips, 

360 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

proposed at 8 a.m. Saturday, and begun at two that 
afternoon. They explored the tangled rocks and woods 
of Lloyd's Neck, on Long Island, sleeping in an abandoned 
shack, curled together like kittens. They swooped on 
a Dutch village in New Jersey, spent the night with an 
old farmer, and attended the Dutch Reformed church. 
They tramped from New Haven to Hartford, over Easter. 
Carl was always ready for their gipsy journeys ; he re- 
sponded to Ruth's visions of foaming South Sea isles ; 
but he rarely sketched such pictures himself. He had 
given all of himself to joy in Ruth. Like many men 
called " adventurers/' he was ready for anything but 
content with anything. 

It was Ruth who was finding new voyages. She kept 
up her settlement work and progressed to an active interest 
in the Women's Trade Union League and took part in 
picketing during a Panama Hat-Workers' strike. She 
may have had more curiosity than principle, but she 
did badger policemen pluckily. She was studying Italian, 
the Montessori method, cooking. She taught new dishes 
to her maid. She adopted a careless suggestion of Carl 
and voluntarily increased the maid's salary, thereby 
shaking the rock-ribbed foundations of Upper West Side 
society. 

In nothing did she find greater satisfaction than in 
being neither " the bride " nor " the little woman " nor 
any like degrading thing which recently married girls 
are by their sentimental spinster friends expected to 
be. She did not whisper the intimate details of her 
honeymoon to other young married women ; she did 
not run about quaintly and tinily telling her difficulties 
with household work. 

When a purring, baby-talking acquaintance gurgled : 
" How did the Rut hie bride spend her morning ? Did 
she cook some little dainty for her husband ? Nothing 
bourgeois, I'm sure \ " in reply Ruth pleasantly observed : 
" Not a chance. The Ruthie bride cussed out the janitor 
for not shooting up a dainty cabbage on the dumb-waiter, 
and then counted up her husband's cigarette coupons 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and skipped right down to the premium parlours with 
'em, and got him a pair of pale-blue Boston garters and 
a cunning granite-ware stew-pan, and then sponged 
lunch off Olive Dunleavy. But nothing bourgeois ! " 

Such experiences, told to Carl, he found diverting. 
He seemed, in the spring of 1914, to want no others. 



362 



CHAPTER XLI 

THE apparently satisfactory development of the 
Touricar in the late spring of 1914 was the result 
of an uneconomical expenditure of energy on the part 
of Carl. Personally he followed by letter the trail of 
every amateur aviator, every motoring big-game hunter. 
He never let up for an afternoon. VanZile had lost 
interest in the whole matter. Whenever Carl thought 
of how much the development of the Touricar business 
depended upon himself, he was uneasy about the future, 
and bent more closely over his desk. On his way home, 
swaying on a subway strap, his pleasant sensation of 
returning to Ruth was interrupted by worry in regard 
to things he might have done at the office. At night 
he dreamed of lists of " prospects/' 

Late in May he was disturbed for several days by head- 
aches, lassitude, nausea. He lied to Ruth : " Guess 
I've eaten something at lunch that was a little off. You 
know what these restaurants are." He admitted, how- 
ever, that he felt like a Symptom. He stuck to the office, 
though his chief emotion about life and business was 
that he wished to go off somewhere and lie down and 
die gently. 

Directly after a Sunday bruncheon, at which he was 
silent and looked washed out, he went to bed with typhoid 
fever. 

For six weeks he was ill. He seemed daily to lose 
more of the boyishness which all his life had made him 
want to dance in the sun. That loss was to Ruth like 
a snickering hobgoblin attending the spectre of death. 
Staying by him constantly, forgetting, in the intensity 
of her care, even to want credit for virtue, taking one 
splash at her tired eyes with boric acid and dashing back 
to his bed, she mourned and mourned for her lost boy, 
while she hid her fear and kept her blouses fresh and 
her hair well-brushed, and mothered the stern man who 
lay so dreadfully still in the bed. . . . He was not 
shaved every day ; he had a pale beard under his hollow 

363 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

cheeks. . . . Even when he was out of delirium, even 
when he was comparatively strong, he never said any- 
thing gaily foolish for the sake of being young and noisy 
with her. 

During convalescence Carl was so wearily gentle that 
she hoped the little boy she loved was coming back to 
dwell in him. But the Hawk's wings seemed broken. 
For the first time Carl was afraid of life. He sat and 
worried, going over the possibilities of the Touricar, 
and the positions he might get if the Touricar failed. 
He was willing to loaf by the window all day, his eyes 
on a narrow, blood-red stripe in the Navajo blanket on 
his knees, along which he incessantly ran a finger-nail, 
back and forth, back and forth, for whole quarter-hours, 
while she read aloud from Kipling and London and Con- 
rad, hoping to rekindle the spirit of daring. 

One sweet drop was in their cup of iron. As wood- 
land playmates they could never have known such intimacy 
as hovered about them when she rested her head lightly 
against his knees and they watched the Hudson, the 
storms and flurries of light on its waves, the windy clouds 
and the processional of barges, the beetle-like ferries and 
the great steamers for Albany. They talked in half 
sentences, understanding the rest : " Tough in winter 

" " Might be good trip " Carl's hand was 

always demanding her thick hair, but he stroked it gently. 
The coarse, wholesome vigour was drained from him ; 
part even of his slang went with it ; his " Gee ! " was 
not explosive. 

He took to watching her like a solemn baby, when 
she moved about the room ; thus she found the little 
boy Carl again ; laughed full-throated and secretly cried 
over him, as his sternness passed into a wistful obedience. 
He was not quite the same impudent boy whose naughti- 
ness she had loved. But the good child who came in 
his place did trust her so, depend upon her so. ... 

When Carl was strong enough they went for three 
weeks to Point Pleasant, on the Jersey coast, where the 
pines and breakers from the open sea healed his weak- 

364 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

ness and his multitudinous worries. They even swam, 
once, and Carl played at learning two new dances, strangely 
called the "fox trot" and the " lu lu fado." Their 
hotel was a vast barn, all porches, white flannels, and 
handsome young Jews chattering tremendously with 
young Jewesses ; but its ball-room floor was smooth, 
and Ruth had lacked music and excitement for so long 
that she danced every night, and conducted an amiable 
flirtation with a mysterious young man of Harvard accent, 
Jewish features, fine brown eyes, and tortoise-shell- 
rimmed eyeglasses, while Carl looked on, a contented 
wallflower. 

They came back to town with ocean breeze and pine 
scent in their throats and sea-sparkle in their eyes 
and Carl promptly tied himself to the office desk as though 
sickness and recovery had never given him a vision of 
play. 

Ruth had not taken the Point Pleasant dances seriously, 
but as day on day she stifled in a half-darkened flat that 
summer, she sometimes sobbed at the thought of the 
moon-path on the sea, the reflection of lights on the ball- 
room floor, the wavelike swish of music-mad feet. 

The flat was hot, dead. The summer heat was unre- 
lenting as bedclothes drawn over the head and lashed 
down. Flies in sneering circles mocked the listless hand 
she flipped at them. Too hot to wear many clothes, 
yet hating the disorder of a flimsy negligee, she panted 
by a window, while the venomous sun glared on tin roofs, 
and a few feet away snarled the ceaseless trrrrrr of a 
stream-riveter that was erecting new flats to shut off 
their view of the Hudson. In the lava-paved back yard 
was the insistent filelike voice of the janitor's son, who 
kept piping : " Haaay, Bil-lay, hey ; Billy's got a girl ! 
Hey, Billy's got a girl ! Haaay, Bil-lay ! " She imagined 
herself going down and slaughtering him ; vividly saw 
herself waiting for the elevator, venturing into the hot 
sepulchre of the back areaway, and there becoming too 
languid to complete the task of ridding the world of the 
dear child. She was horrified to discover what she had 

365 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

been imagining, and presently imagined it all over again. 

Two blocks across from her, seen through the rising 
walls of the new apartment-houses, were the drab win- 
dows of a group of run-down tenements, which broke 
the sleek respectability of the well-to-do quarter. In 
those windows Ruth observed foreign-looking, idle 
women, not very clean, who had nothing to do after they 
had completed half an hour of slovenly housework in 
the morning. They watched their neighbours breath- 
lessly. They peered out with the petty virulent curiosity 
of the workless at whatever passed in the streets below 
them. Fifty times a day they could be seen to lean 
far out on their fire-escapes and follow with slowly cran- 
ing necks and unblinking eyes the passing of something 
ice-wagons, undertakers' wagons, ole-clo' men, Ruth 
surmised. The rest of the time, ragged-haired and greasy 
of wrapper, gum-chewing and yawning, they rested their 
unlovely stomachs on discoloured sofa-cushions on the 
window-sills and waited for something to appear. Two 
blocks away they were yet to Ruth they seemed to 
be in the room with her, claiming her as one of their sister- 
hood. For now she was a useless woman, as they were. 
She raged with the thought that she might grow to be 
like them in every respect she, Ruth Winslow ! . . . 
She wondered if any of them were Norwegians named 
Ericson. . . . With the fascination of dread she watched 
them as closely as they watched the world with the hyp- 
not izat ion of unspeakable hopelessness. . . . She had 
to find her work, something for which the world needed 
her, lest she be left here, useless and unhappy in a flat. 
In her kitchen she was merely an intruder on the efficient 
maid, and there was no nursery. 

She sat apprehensively on the edge of a chair, hating 
the women at the windows, hating the dull, persistent 
flies, hating the wetness of her forehead and the damp- 
ness of her palm ; repenting of her hate and hating again 
and taking another cold bath to be fresh for the home- 
coming of Carl, the tired man whom she had to mother 
and whom, of all the world, she did not hate. 

366 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Even on the many cool days when the streets and 
the flat became tolerable and the vulture women of the 
tenements ceased to exist for her, Ruth was not much 
interested, whether she went out or someone came to 
see her. Every one she knew, except for the Dunleavys 
and a few others, was out of town, and she was tired 
of Olive Dunleavy's mirth and shallow gossip. After 
her days with Carl in the valley of the shadow, Olive 
was to her a stranger giggling about strange people. Phil 
was rather better. He occasionally came in for tea, 
poked about, stared at the colour prints, and said cryptic 
things about feminism and playing squash. 

Her settlement-house classes were closed for the sum- 
mer. She brooded over the settlement work and accused 
herself of caring less for people than for the sensation 
of being charitable. She wondered if she was a hypo- 
crite. . . . Then she would take another cold bath to 
be fresh for the home-coming of Carl, the tired man whom 
she had to mother, and toward whom, of all the world's 
energies, she knew that she was not hypocritical. 

This is not the story of Ruth Winslow, but of Carl 
Ericson. Yet Ruth's stifling days are a part of it, for 
her unhappiness meant as much to him as it did to her. 
In the swelter of his office, overlooking motor-hooting, 
petrol-reeking Broadway, he was aware that Ruth was 
in the flat, buried alive. He made plans for her going 
away, but she refused to desert him. He tried to arrange 
for a week more of holiday for them both ; he could 
not ; he came to understand that he was now completely 
a prisoner of business. 

He was in a rut, both sides of which were hedged with 
" back work that had piled up on him/ 1 He had no 
desire, no ambition, no interest, except in Ruth and in 
making the Touricar pay. 

The Touricar Company had never paid expenses as 
yet. How much longer would old VanZile be satisfied 
with millions to come in the future perhaps ? 

Carl even took work home with him, though for Ruth's 
sake he wanted to go out and play. It really was for 

367 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

her sake ; he himself liked to play, but the disease of 
perpetual overwork had hold of him. He was glad for 
her to desert him for an evening now and then, and go 
out to the Peace Waters Country Club for a dance with 
Phil and Olive Dunleavy. She felt guilty when she 
came home and found him still making calculations. 
But she hummed waltzes while she put on a thin, blue 
silk dressing-gown and took down her hair. 

" I cant stand this grubby, shut-in prison/' she finally 
snapped at him, on an evening when he would not go 
to the first night of a roof-garden. 

He snarled back : " You don't have to ! Why don't 
you go with your bloomin' Phil and Olive ? Of course, 
I don't ever want to go myself ! " 

" See here, my friend, you have been taking advantage 
for a long time now of the fact that you were ill. I'm 
not going to be your nurse indefinitely." She slammed 
her bedroom door. 

Later she came stalking out, very dignified, and left 
the flat. He pretended not to see her. But as soon 
as the elevator door had clanged and the rumbling old 
car had begun to carry her down, away from him, the 
flat was noisy with her absence. She came home eagerly 
sorry to find an eagerly sorry Carl. Then, while they 
cried together, and he kissed her lips, they made a com- 
pact that no matter for what reason or through whose 
fault they might quarrel, they would always settle it 
before either went to bed. . . . But they were uncom- 
fortably polite for two days, and obviously were so afraid 
that they might quarrel that they were both prepared 
to quarrel. 

Carl had been back at work for less than one month, but 
he hoped that the Touricar was giving enough promise 
now of positive success to permit him to play during the 
evening. He hired a VanZile car for part time ; planned 
week-end trips ; hoped they could spend 

Then the whole world exploded. 

Just at the time when the investigation of Twilight 
Sleep indicated that the world might become civilized, 

368 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

the Powers plunged into a war whose reason no man has 
yet discovered. Carl read the head-lines on the morn- 
ing of August 5th, 1914, with a delusion of not reading 
" news/' but history, with himself in the history book. 

Ten thousand books record the Great War, and how 
bitterly Europe realized it ; this is to record that Carl, 
like most of America, did not comprehend it, even when 
recruits of the Kaiser marched down Broadway with 
German and American flags intertwined, even when his 
business was threatened. It was too big for his imagin- 
ation. 

Every noon he bought half a dozen newspaper extras 
and hurried down to the bulletin-boards on the Times 
and Herald buildings. He pretended that he was a char- 
acter in one of the fantastic novels about a world-war 
when he saw such items as " Russians invading Prussia/' 
" Japs will enter war/' " Aeroplane and submarine attack 
English cruiser." 

" Rats ! " he said, "I'm dreaming. There couldn't 
be a war like that. We're too civilized. I can prove 
the whole thing 's impossible." 

In the world-puzzle nothing confused Carl more than 
the question of socialism. He had known as a final fact 
that the alliance of French and German socialist workmen 
made war between the two nations absolutely impossible 
and his knowledge was proven ignorance, his faith 
folly. He tentatively bought a socialist magazine or 
two, to find some explanation, and found only greater 
confusion on the part of the scholars and leaders of the 
party. They, too, did not understand how it had all 
happened ; they stood amid the ruins of international 
socialism, sorrowing. If their faith was darkened, how 
much more so was Carl's vague untutored optimism 
about world-brotherhood. 

He had two courses to discard socialism as a failure, 
or to stand by it as a course of action which was logical 
but had not, as yet, been able to accomplish its end. He 
decided to stand by it ; he could not see himself plung- 
ing into the unutterable pessimism of believing that all 

369 A A 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

of mankind were such beast fools that, after this one 
great sin, they could not repent and turn from tribal 
murder. And what other remedy was there ? If socialism 
had not prevented the war, neither had monarchy nor 
bureaucracy, bourgeois peace movements, nor the church. 

With a whole world at war, Carl thought chiefly of his 
own business. He was not abnormal. The Press was 
filled with bewildered queries as to what would happen 
to America. For two weeks the automobile business 
seemed dead, save for a grim activity in war-trucks. 
VanZile called in Carl and shook his head over the future 
of the Touricar, now that all luxuries were threatened. 

But the Middle West promised a huge crop and pros- 
perity. The East followed ; then, slowly, the South, 
despite the closed outlet for its cotton crop. Within a 
few weeks all sorts of motor-cars were selling well, especially 
expensive cars. It was apparent that automobiles were 
no longer merely luxuries. There was even a promise 
of greater trade than ever, so rapidly were all the cars 
of the warring nations being destroyed. 

But, once VanZile had considered the possibility of 
letting go his Touricar interest in order to be safe, he 
seemed always to be considering it. Carl read fate in 
VanZile's abstracted manner. And if VanZile withdrew, 
Carl's own stock would be worthless. But he stuck at 
his work, with something of a boy's frightened stubborn- 
ness and something of a man's quiet sternness. Fear 
was never far from him. In an aeroplane he had never 
been greatly frightened ; he could himself, by his own 
efforts, fight the wind. But how could he steer a world- 
war or a world-industry ? 

He tried to conceal his anxiety from Ruth, but she 
guessed it. She said, one evening : " Sometimes I think 
we two are unusual, because we really want to be free. 
And then a thing like this war comes and our bread and 
butter and little pink cakes are in danger, and I realize 
we're not free at all ; that we're just like all the rest, 
prisoners, dependent on how much the job brings and 

370 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

how fast the subway runs. Oh, sweetheart, we mustn't 
forget to be just a bit mad, no matter how serious things 
become." Standing very close to him, she put her head 
on his shoulder. 

" Sure mustn't. Must stick by each other all the 
more when the world takes a run and jumps on us." 

" Indeed we will ! " 

Unsparingly the war's cosmic idiocy continued, and 
Carl crawled along the edge of a business precipice, looking 
down. He became so accustomed to it that he began 
to enjoy the view. The old Carl, with the enthusiasm 
which had served him for that undefined quality called 
" courage," began to come to life again, laughing, " Let 
the darned old business bust, if she's going to." 

Only, it refused to bust. 

It kept on trembling, while Carl became nervous again, 
then gaily defiant, then nervous again, till the alternation 
of gloom and bravado disgusted him and made Ruth 
wonder whether he was an office-slave or a freebooter. 
As he happened to be both at the time, it was hard for him 
to be either convincingly. She accused him of vacillat- 
ing ; he retorted ; the suspense kept them both raw. . . . 

To add to their difficulties of adjustment to each other, 
and to the ego-mad world, Ruth's sense of established 
amenities was shocked by the reappearance of Carl's 
pioneering as revealed in the lively but vulgar person 
of Martin Dockerill, Carl's former aviation mechanic. 

Martin Dockerill was lanky and awkward as ever, he 
still wrote postcards to his aunt in Fall River, and admired 
burlesque-show choruses, but he no longer played the 
mouth-organ (publicly), for he had become so well-to-do 
as to be respectable. As foreign agent for the Des Moines 
Auto-Truck Company he had toured Europe, selling 
war-trucks, or lorries, as the English called them, first 
to the Balkan States, then to Italy, Russia, and Turkey. 
He was for a time detailed to the New York office. 

It did not occur either to him or to Carl that he was 
not " welcome to drop in any time ; often as possible," 

371 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

to slap Carl on the back, loudly recollect the time when 
he had got drunk and fought with a policeman in San 
Antonio, or to spend a whole evening belligerently dis- 
cussing the idea of war or types of motor-trucks when 
Ruth wistfully wanted Carl to herself. Martin supposed, 
because she smiled, that she was as interested as Carl 
in his theories about aeroplane-scouting in war. 

Ruth knew that most of Carl's life had been devoted 
to things quite outside her own sphere of action, but she 
had known it without feeling it. His talk with Martin 
showed her how sufficient his life had been without her. 
She began to worry lest he go back to aviation. 

So began their serious quarrels ; there were not many 
of them, and they were forgotten out of existence in a 
day or two ; but there were at least three pitched battles 
during which both of them believed that " this ended 
everything." They quarrelled always about the one 
thing which had intimidated them before the need of 
quarrelling ; though apropos of this every detail of life 
came up : Ruth's conformities ; her fear that he would 
fly again ; her fear that the wavering job was making 
him indecisive. 

And Martin Dockerill kept coming, as an excellent 
starting-point for dissension. 

Ruth did not dislike Martin's roughness, but when the 
ex-mechanic discovered that he was making more money 
than was Carl, and asked Carl, in her presence, if he'd 
like a loan, then she hated Martin, and would give no 
reason. She became unable to see him as anything but 
a boor, an upstart servant, whose friendship with Carl 
indicated that her husband, too, was an " outsider/' 
Believing that she was superbly holding herself in, she 
asked Carl if there was not some way of tactfully suggest- 
ing to Martin that he come to the flat only once in two 
weeks, instead of two or three times a week. Carl was 
angry. She ' said furiously what she really thought, and 
retired to Aunt Emma's for the evening. When she 
returned she expected to find Carl as repentant as herself. 
Unfortunately that same Carl who had declared that it 

372 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

was pure egotism to regard one's own religion or country 
as necessarily sacred, regarded his own friends as sacred 
a noble faith which is an important cause of political 
graft. He was ramping about the living-room, waiting 
for a fight and he got it. 

Their moment of indiscretion. The inevitable time 
when, believing themselves fearlessly frank, they exagger- 
ated every memory of an injury. Ruth pointed out 
that Carl had disliked Florence Crewden as much as she 
had disliked Martin. She renewed her accusation that 
he was vacillating ; scoffed at Walter MacMonnies (whom 
she really liked), Gertie Cowles (whom she had never 
met), and even, hesitatingly, Carl's farmer relatives. 

And Carl was equally unpleasant. At her last thrust 
he called her a thin-blooded New-Yorker and slammed 
his bedroom door. They had broken their pledge not to 
go to bed on a quarrel 

He was gone before she came out to breakfast in the 
morning. 

In the evening they were perilously polite again. Martin 
Dockerill appeared and, while Ruth listened, Carl revealed 
how savagely his mind had turned overnight to a long- 
ing for such raw adventuring as she could never share. 
He feverishly confessed that he had for many weeks 
wavered between hating the whole war and wanting to 
enlist in the British Aero Corps, to get life's supreme 
sensation scouting ten thousand feet in air, while dozens 
of batteries fired at him ; a nose-to-earth volplane. The 
thinking Carl, the playmate Carl that Ruth knew, was 
masked as the foolhardy adventurer and as one who 
was not merely talking, but might really do the thing he 
pictured. And Martin Dockerill seemed so dreadfully 
to take it for granted that Carl might go. 

Carl's high note of madness dropped to a matter-of- 
fact chatter about a kind of wandering which shut her 
out as completely as did the project of war. " I don't 
know," said he, " but what the biggest fun in chasing 
round the country is to get up from a pile of lumber where 
you've pounded your ear all night and get that funny 

373 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

railway smell of greasy waste, and then throw your feet 
for a hand-out and sneak on a blind and go hiking off to 
some town you've never heard of, with every brakie and 
constabule out after you. That's living ! " 

When Martin was gone Carl glanced at her. She stiff- 
ened and pretended to be absorbed in a magazine. He 
took from the mess of papers and letters that lived in his 
inside coat pocket a war-map he had clipped from a news- 
paper, and drew tactical lines on it. From his room he 
brought a small book he had bought that day. He studied 
it intently. Ruth managed to see that the title of the 
book was Aeroplanes and Air-Scouting in the European 
Armies. 

She sprang up, cried : " Hawk ! Why are you reading 
that ? " 

" Why shouldn't I read it ? " 

" You don't mean to You " 

" Oh no, I don't suppose I'd have the nerve to go and 
enlist now. You've already pointed out to me that I've 
been getting cold feet." 

" But why do you shut me out ? Why do you ? " 

" Oh, good Lord ! have we got to go all over that again ? 
We've gone over it and over it and over it till I'm sick of 
telling you it isn't true." 

"I'm very sorry, Hawk. Thank you for making it 
clear to me that I'm a typical silly wife." 

" And thank you for showing me I'm a clumsy brute. 
You've done it quite often now. Of course it doesn't 
mean anything that I've given up aviation." 

" Oh, don't be melodramatic. Or if you must be, 
don't fail to tell me that I've ruined your life." 

" Very well. I won't say anything, then, Ruth." 

" Don't look at me like that, Hawk. So hard. Study- 
ing me. . . . Can't you understand Haven't you 

any perception ? Can't you understand how hard it is 
for me to come to you like this, after last night, and try " 

" Very nice of you," he said, grimly. 

With one cry of " Oh ! " she ran into her bedroom. 

He could hear her sobbing ; he could feel her agony 
374 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

dragging him to her. But no woman's arms should drug 
his anger, this time, to let it ache again. For once he 
definitely did not want to go to her. So futile to make 
up and quarrel, make up and quarrel. He was impatient 
that her distant sobs expressed so clearly a wordless 
demand that he come to her and make peace. " Hell ! " 
he crawked ; jerked his top-coat from its nail, and left 
the flat eleven o'clock of a chilly November evening. 



375 



CHAPTER XLII 

DIZZY with all the problems of life, he did not notice 
where he went. He walked blocks , took a tram ; 
got off to buy a strong cigar ; took the next tram that 
came along ; was carried across the Fifty-ninth Street 
bridge to Long Island. At the eighth or tenth stop he 
hurried out of the tram just as it was starting again. He 
wondered why he had been such a fool as to leave it in 
a dark street of flat-faced wooden houses with door-yards 
of trampled earth and a general air of poverty, goats, and 
lunch-pails. He tramped on, a sullen and youthless 
man. Presently he was in shaggy, open country. 

He was frightened by his desertion of Ruth, but he 
did not want to go back, nor even telephone to her. He 
had to diagram where and what and why he was ; deter- 
mine what he was to do. 

He disregarded the war as a cause of trouble. Had 
there been no extra business-pressure caused by the war, 
there would have been some other focus for their mis- 
understandings. They would have quarrelled over clothes 
and aviation, Aunt Emma and Martin Dockerill, poverty 
and dancing, quite the same. 

Walking steadily, with long periods when he did not 
think, but stared at the dusty stars or the shaky, ill- 
lighted old houses, he aligned her every fault, unhappily 
rehearsed every quarrel in which she had been to blame, 
his lips moving as he emphasized the righteous retorts 
he was almost certain he had made. It was not hard to 
find faults in her. Any two people who have spent more 
than two days together already have the material for a 
lifelong feud, in traits which at first were amusing or 
admirable. Ruth's pretty manners, of which Carl had 
been proud, he now cited as snobbish affectation. He 
did not spare his reverence, his passion, his fondness. He 
mutilated his soul like a hermit. He recalled her pleasure 
in giving him jolly surprises, in writing unexpected notes 
addressed to him at the office, as fussy discontent with 
a quiet, normal life ; he regarded her excitement over 

376 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

dances as evidence that she was so dependent on country- 
club society that he would have to spend the rest of his 
life drudging for her. 

He wanted to flee. He saw the whole world as a con- 
spiracy of secret, sinister powers that are concealed from 
the child, but to the man are gradually revealed by a 
pitiless and never-ending succession of misfortunes. He 
would never be foot-loose again. His land of heart's 
desire would be the office. 

But the ache of disappointment grew dull. He was 
stunned. He did not know what had happened ; did 
not even know precisely how he came to be walking here. 
Now and then he remembered anew that he had sharply 
left Ruth Ruth, his dear girl ! remembered that she 
was not at hand, ready to explain with love's lips the 
sombre puzzles of life. He was frightened again, and 
beginning to be angry with himself for having been angry 
with Ruth. 

He had walked many miles. Brown fields came up 
at him through the paling darkness. A sign-board showed 
that he was a few miles from Mineola. Letting the coming 
dawn uplift him, he tramped into Mineola, with a half- 
plan of going on to the near-by Hempstead Plains Aviation 
Field, to see if there was any early-morning flying. It 
would be bully to see a machine again ! 

At a lunch-wagon he ordered buckwheat-cakes and 
coffee. Sitting on a high stool before a seven-inch shelf 
attached to the wall, facing an array of salt-castors and 
catsup-bottles and one of those coloured glass windows 
with a portrait of Washington which give to all lunch- 
wagons their air of sober refinement, Carl ate solemnly, 
meditatively. ... It did not seem to him an ignoble 
setting for his grief ; but he was depressed when he came 
out to a drab first light of day that made the street seem 
hopeless and unrested after the night. The shops were 
becoming visible, grey and chilly, like a just-awakened 
janitor in slippers, braces, and tousled hair. The pave- 
ment was wet. Carl crossed the street, stared at the 
fly-specked cover of a magazine six months old that lay 

377 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

in a shop window lighted by one gas lamp. He gloomily 
planned to go back and have another cup of coffee on the 
shelf before Washington's glassy but benign face. 

But he looked down the street, and all the sky was 
becoming a delicate and luminous blue. 

He trotted off toward Hempstead Plains. 

The Aviation Field was almost abandoned. Most of 
the ambitious line of hangars were empty, now, with 
faded grass thick before the great doors that no one ever 
opened. A recent fire had destroyed a group of five 
hangars. 

He found one door open, and three sleepy youngsters 
in sweaters and khaki trousers bringing out a monoplane. 

Carl watched them start, bobbed his chin to the music 
of the motor, saw the machine canter down the field and 
ascend from dawn to the glory of day. The rising sun 
picked out the lines of the unenclosed framework and 
hovered on the silvery wing-surface. The machine circled 
the field at two hundred feet elevation, smoothly, peace- 
fully. And peace beyond understanding came to Carl. 

He studied the flight. " M'm. Good and steady. 
Banks a little sharp, but very thorough. Firs' rate. I 
believe I could get more speed out of her if I were flying. 
Like to try/' 

Wonderingly he realized that he did not want to fly ; 
that only his lips said, " Like to try." He was almost 
as much an outsider to aviation as though he had never 
flown. He discovered that he was telling Ruth this 
fact, in an imaginary conversation ; was commenting 
for her on dawn-sky and the plains before him and 
his alienation from exploits in which she could not 
share. 

The monoplane landed with a clean volplane. The 
aviator and his mechanics were wheeling it toward 
the hangar. They glanced at him uninterestedly. Carl 
understood that, to them, he was a Typical Bystander, 
here where he had once starred. 

The aviator stared again, let go the machine, walked 
over, exclaiming : " Say, aren't you Hawk Ericson ? 

378 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

This is an honour. I heard you were somewhere in New 
York. Just missed you at the Aero Club one night. 
Wanted to ask you about the Bagby hydro. Won't you 
come in and have some coffee and sinkers with us ? Proud 
to have you. My name's Berry." 

" Thanks. Be glad to." 

While the youngsters were admiring him, hearing of 
the giants of earlier days, while they were drinking inspira- 
tion from this veteran of twenty-nine, they were in turn 
inspiring Carl by their faith in him. He had been humble. 
They made him trust himself, not egotistically, but with 
a feeling that he did matter, that it was worth while to 
be in tune with life. 

Yet all the while he knew that he wanted to be by 
himself, because he could thus be with the spirit of Ruth. 
And he knew, subconsciously, that he was going to hurry 
back to Mineola and telephone to her. 

As he dog-trotted down the road, he noted the old 
Dutch houses for her ; picked out the spot where he had 
once had a canvas hangar, and fancied himself telling 
her of those days. He did not remember that at this 
hangar he had known Istra, Istra Nash, the artist, whose 
name he scarce recalled. Istra was an incident ; Ruth 
was the meaning of his life. 

And the solution of his problem came, all at once, 
when suddenly it was given to him to understand what 
that problem was. 

Ruth and he had to be up and away, immediately ; 
go any place, do anything, so long as they followed new 
trails, and followed them together. He knew positively, 
after his lonely night, that he could not be happy with- 
out her as comrade in the freedom he craved. And he 
also knew that they had not done the one thing for which 
their marriage existed. They were not just a man and a 
woman. They were a man and a woman who had pro- 
mised to find new horizons for each other. 

However much he believed in the sanctity of love's 
children, Carl also believed that merely to be married 
and breed casual children and die is a sort of suspended 

379 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

energy which has no conceivable place in this over-com- 
plex and unwieldy world. He had no clear nor ringing 
message, but he did have, just then, an overpowering 
conviction that Ruth and he not every one, but Ruth 
and he, at least had a vocation in keeping clear of voca- 
tions, and that they must fulfil it. 

Over the telephone he said : " Ruth dear, I'll be right 
there. Walked all night. Got straightened out now. 
I'm out at Mmeola. It's all right with me now, blessed. 
I want so frightfully much to make it all right with you. 
I'll be there in about an hour." 

She answered " Yes " so non-committally that he was 
smitten by the fact that he had yet to win forgiveness 
for his frenzy in leaving her ; that he must break the 
shell of resentment which would encase her after a whole 
night's brooding between sullen walls. 

On the train, unconscious of its uproar, he was bespelled 
by his new love. During a few moments of their lives, 
ordinary real people, people real as a tooth-brush, do 
actually transcend the coarsely physical aspects of sex 
and feeding, and do approximate to the unwavering 
glow of romantic heroes. Carl was no more a romantic 
hero-lover than, as a celebrated aviator, he had been a 
hero-adventurer. He was a human being. He was not 
even admirable, except as all people are admirable, from 
the ash-man to the king. There had been nothing 
exemplary in his struggle to find adjustment with his 
wife ; he had been bad in his impatience just as he had 
been good in his boyish affection ; in both he had been 
human. Even now, when without reserve he gave him- 
self up to love, he was aware that he would ascend, not 
on godlike pinions, but by a jerky old lift, to make peace 
with a vexed girl who was also a human being, with a 
digestive system and prejudices. Yet with a joy that 
encompassed all the beauty of banners and saluting swords, 
romantic towers and a fugitive queen, a joy transcending 
trains and elevators and prejudices, Carl knew that human 
girl as the symbol of man's yearning for union with the 
divine ; he desired happiness for her with a devotion 

380 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

great as the passion in Galahad's heart when all night 
he knelt before the high altar. 

He came slowly up to their flat. If it were only possible 
for Ruth to trust him, now 

Mingled with his painfully clear remembrance of all 
the sweet things Ruth was and had done was a tragic 
astonishment that he this same he who was all hers 
now could possibly have turned impatiently from her 
sobs. Yet it would have been for good, if only she would 
trust him. 

Not till he left the elevator, on their floor, did he com- 
prehend that Ruth might not be awaiting him ; might 
have gone. He looked irresolutely at the grill of the 
elevator door, shut on the black shaft. 

" She was here when I telephoned " 

He waited. Perhaps she would peep out to see if it 
was he who had come up in the elevator. 

She did not appear. 

He walked the endless distance of ten feet to their 
door, unlocked it, laboured across the tiny hall into the 
living-room. She was there. She stood supporting her- 
self by the back of the davenport, her eyes red-edged and 
doubtful, her face tightened, expressing enmity or dread 
or shy longing. He held out his hands, like a prisoner 
beseeching royal mercy. She in turn threw out her 
arms. He could not say one word. The clumsy signs 
called " words " could not tell his emotion. He ran to 
her, and she welcomed his arms. He held her, aban- 
doned himself utterly to her kiss. His hard-driving mind 
relaxed ; relaxed was her body in his arms. He knew, 
not merely with his mind, but with the vaster powers 
that drive mind and emotion and body, that Ruth, in her 
dishevelled dressing-gown, was the glorious lover to 
whom he had been hastening this hour past. All the 
love which civilization had tried to turn into Normal 
Married Life had escaped Efficiency's pruning-hook, 
and had flowered. 

" It's all right with me, now," she said ; " so wonder- 
fully all right." 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

" I want to explain. Had to be by myself ; find out. 

Must have seemed so unspeakably r " 

" Oh, don't, don't explain ! Our kiss explained." 

While they talked on the davenport together, reaching 
out again and again for the hands that now really were 
there, Ruth agreed with Carl that they must be up and 
away, not wait till it should be too late. She, too, saw 
how many lovers plan under the June honeymoon to sail 
away after a year or two and see the great world, and, 
when they wearily die, know that it will still be a year 
or two before they can flee to the halcyon isles. 

But she did insist that they plan practically ; and it 
was she who wondered : " But what would happen if 
everybody went skipping off like us ? Who'd bear the 
children and keep the fields ploughed to feed the ones 
that ran away ? " 

" Golly ! " cried Carl, " wish that were the worst prob- 
lem we had ! Maybe a thousand years from now, when 
every one is so artistic that they want to write books, 

it will be hard to get enough drudges. But now 

Look at any office, with the clerks toiling day after day, 
even the unmarried ones. Look at all the young fathers 
of families, giving up everything they want to do, to 
support children who'll do the same thing right over 
again with their children. Always handing on the torch 
of life, but never getting any light from it. People don't 
run away from slavery often enough. And so they don't 
ever get to do real work, either ! " 

" But, sweetheart, what if we should have children 

some day ? You know Of course, we haven't been 

ready for them yet, but some day they might come, any- 
how, and how could we wander round " 

" Oh, probably they will come some day, and then 
we'll take our dose of drudgery like the rest. There's 
nothing that our dear civilization punishes as it does 
begetting children. For poisoning food by adulterating 
it you may get fined fifty dollars, but if you have children 
they call it a miracle as it is and then they get busy 

382 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

and condemn you to a lifetime of being scared by the 
boss/' 

" Well, darling, please don't blame it on me." 

" I didn't mean to get so oratorical, blessed. But it 
does make me mad the way the State punishes one for 
being willing to work and have children. Perhaps if 
enough of us run away from nice normal grinding, we'll 
start people wondering just why they should go on toil- 
ing to produce a lot of booze and clothes and things that 
nobody needs." 

" Perhaps, my Hawk. . . . Don't you think, though, 
that we might be bored in your Rocky Mountain cabin, 
if we were there for months and months ? " 

" Yes, I suppose so," Carl mused. " The rebellion 
against stuffy marriage has to be a whole lot wider than 
some little detail like changing from city to country. 
Probably for some people the happiest thing 'd be to live 
in a hobohemian flat and have parties, and for some to 
live in the suburbs and get the missus elected president 
of the Village Improvement Society. For us, I believe, 
it's change and keep going" 

" Yes, I do think so. Hawk, my Hawk, I lay awake 
nearly all night last night, realizing that we are one, not 
because of a wedding ceremony, but because we can 
understand each other's make-b'lieves and seriousnesses. 
I knew that no matter what happened, we had to try 
again. ... I saw last night, by myself, that it was not 
a question of finding out whose fault a quarrel was ; that 
it wasn't anybody's ' fault/ but just conditions. . . . 
And we'll change them. . . . We won't be afraid to 
be free." 

" We won't ! Lord ! life's wonderful ! " 

" Yes ! When I think of how sweet life can be so 
wonderfully sweet I know that all the prophets must 
love human beings, oh, so terribly, no matter how sad 
they are about the petty things that lives are wasted 
over. . . . But I'm not a prophet. I'm a girl that's 
awfully much in love, and, darling, I want you to hold 
me close." 

383 



THE TRAIL OF THE HAWK 

Three months later, in February, 1915, Ruth and Carl 
sailed for Buenos Ayres, America's new export-market. 
Carl was the Argentine Republic manager for the VanZile 
Motor Corporation, possessed of an unimportant salary, 
a possibility of large commissions, and hopes like comets. 
Their happiness seemed a thing enchanted. They had 
not quarrelled again. 

The s.s. Sangrael, for Buenos Ayres and Rio, had 
sailed from snow into summer. Ruth and Carl watched 
isles of palms turn to fantasies carved of ebony, in the 
rose and garnet sunset waters, and the vast sky laugh 
out in stars. Carl was quoting Kipling : 

" ' The Lord knows what we may find, dear lass, 
And the deuce knows what we may do 
But we're back once more on the old trail, our own trail, 

the out trail, 
We're down, hull down on the Old Trail the trail that 

is always new/ 

Anyway," he commented, " deuce only knows what 
we'll do after Argentine, and I don't care. Do you ? " 
Her clasping hand answered, as he went on : 
" Oh, say, bles-sed ! I forgot to look in the directory 
before we left New York to see if there wasn't a Society 
for the Spread of Madness among the Respectable. It 
might have sent us out as missionaries. . . . There's a 
flying-fish ; and to-morrow I won't have to watch clerks 
punch a time-clock ; and you can hear a sailor shifting 
the ventilators ; and there's a little star perched on the 
foremast, singing ; but the big thing is that you're here 
beside me, and we're going. How bully it is to be living, 
if you don't have to give up living in order to make 
a living." 



384